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Council launches new Extreme Hardship Grant for Fenland businesses



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Fenland businesses which have suffered extreme financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic are the focus of a new grant scheme launched by Fenland District Council.

The Extreme Hardship Grant (EHG) aims to help businesses which, while not legally forced to close under lockdown restrictions, have still been severely financially impacted because they are part of the supply chain for businesses which have had to close.

This could include, for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, or businesses in the events sector.

Councillor Chris Boden. (45314304)
Councillor Chris Boden. (45314304)

Businesses which have been unable to claim the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) due to being legally allowed to remain trading and can demonstrate losses of £15,000 or more since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, are eligible.

One-off grants of up to £5,000 are available under the scheme and applications must be received by Wednesday, 31 March. Visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/EHG

Cllr Chris Boden, Leader of Fenland District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “We have developed the Extreme Hardship Grant to help those businesses which have suffered significant losses despite being allowed to remain open. The application window is short, but this enables us to continually develop other means to support businesses and deliver funding quickly where it’s needed most.

“I would urge any businesses who think they may be eligible for this scheme or any of the other schemes still open to applications to check the criteria and get in touch.”

To date, business grants totaling over £28million have been administered by the Council.

Other grant schemes still open for applications are:

Self-Employment Support Grant – for self-employed businesses which are not eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and have not received either the Local Restrictions Support Grant or the Supplementary Winter Lockdown Grant. Applications must be received by Monday, 22 March.

Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment – a one-off grant payment of either £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 depending on ratable value is available to businesses forced to close in line with the national restrictions which came into force on 5 January 2021. This grant is available in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) and businesses can claim this at the same time as applying for other grants which they are eligible for. Applications must be received by Wednesday, 31 March.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) – hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses registered for business rates which suffered a reduction in trade due to Tier 2 restrictions are eligible to obtain the LRSG (Open) grant. This grant is currently available for the period from 2 December to 25 December when Fenland was in Tier 2. Applications must be received by Wednesday, 31 March.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – the LRSG (Closed) grant is available to businesses registered for businesses rates which were required by law to remain closed during the period when Fenland was in Tier 2. For example, pubs which were unable to re-open on 2 December 2020 due to the requirement to serve substantial meals alongside any alcohol purchased. Applications must be received by Wednesday, 31 March.

Supplementary Winter Lockdown Grant – available to all businesses which are not eligible for the Closed Business Lockdown Payment or the Local Restrictions Support Grants. Businesses which are not registered for business rates are able to obtain this grant if they meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information on the grant schemes and to apply, visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/businessgrants



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