Mobile and home-based businesses in County Durham are now able to apply for financial support during the coronavirus pandemic after a scheme was extended by a council.
Limited fixed funding has been made available by the Government through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) which can be used to fund a discretionary policy that supports businesses in the hospitality, leisure, accommodation and personal care sectors which have not had any previous support, do not have their own business rates account but still incur monthly fixed business-related costs and have been significantly impacted by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Durham County Council has previously extended the scheme to offer support to those businesses in shared commercial spaces, taxi drivers, registered childcare providers, childminders as well as driving instructors.
Last year, the council administered the first round of Government grants during the pandemic, with more than £104m paid to more than 9,500 businesses across the county. A number of businesses praised the council for working with them through the claims process.
Under this new extended scheme, eligible businesses with monthly fixed costs of between £100 and £200 will receive a one off payment of £500, those with monthly fixed costs of £200 to £400 will be given a one off payment of £1,000 and those with a monthly fixed cost of over £400 will receive a payment of £2,500.
To be eligible for this scheme, businesses must be in the hospitality, leisure, accommodation and personal care sectors which have not had any previous support and be able to:
• Demonstrate fixed business-related costs of at least £100 a month, these must be integral to the running of the business and not include personal salary costs or rent/ mortgage costs.
• Evidence that the business provides the majority of the applicant’s income (over 50 per cent).
• Demonstrate that the business is within the hospitality, accommodation or leisure (HAL) sector, is in the HAL supply chain or provides in-person, face to face services.
• Demonstrate that the business has been severely impacted by local and/or national restrictions.
• Evidence that the business was trading on 18 September 2020.
• Demonstrate that the business has not received or is eligible for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant or the current ARG funding.
Driving instructors are also encouraged to make their application for support using this online process.
Paul Darby, Durham County Council’s corporate director of resources, said: “We understand that this continues to be a hugely challenging time for businesses across the county and that in line with the government guidance which points to supporting those businesses with commercial property costs, previous schemes have not provided support to home-based and mobile business.
“This is why we are announcing this latest package of support.
“Our aim is to help as many businesses as possible as we continue to respond to the pandemic and as we hopefully slowly return to normality later this year as restrictions are lifted.”
Business owners can find out more and apply for financial support by going to durham.gov.uk/covid19businessgrants.