Cherwell District Council has so far paid out £380,000 worth of Local Restrictions Support Grants. These one-off government support grants are there to help businesses that have a business rates account and which have had to close between 5 November and 2 December.
Councillor Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Economy, Regeneration and Property, said: “2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges for local businesses. Many were only just beginning to get back on their feet when the national lockdown came into effect and they were forced to close again. We have been working really hard to distribute this government grant funding and I encourage any business who believes they are eligible to complete the simple online form as quickly as possible.”
Businesses are also eligible if they have adapted their operations to provide a reduced service. This means that pubs and restaurants that are largely closed but continuing to offer a takeaway-only service can apply, as can some businesses offering click and collect.
There are three rates of grant payments available, ranging from £1,334 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or lower; £2,000 for businesses with a rateable value over £15,000, but less than £51,000; and £3,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above.
Once received, successful applications will be processed and paid within 10 working days.
From 2 December, while all of Oxfordshire will enter tier 2 restrictions, businesses will still be able to apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant funding retrospectively.
Details of a separate discretionary grants scheme are currently being finalised and will be announced by the council in the coming days. These grants will be made available to help businesses without a business rates account and will be called Additional Restrictions Grants.
Full details of eligibility and a link to the Local Restrictions Support Grants application form are available here.