Wokingham Borough Council is finalising plans to provide financial support to local businesses impacted by the current national lockdown restrictions, which were in place until 2 December. It is hoped that this will also extend to any businesses affected by Wokingham Borough’s move into the new Tier 2 restrictions.
For businesses required to close as a result of the current lockdown restrictions, and who are registered for business rates (commercial premises), there is the option to apply for a mandatory grant under the Local Restrictions Support Grants (Closed) Addendum. To date, more than £529,000 has been paid out to local businesses, and eligible companies can continue to apply via the form on the council’s website.
However the Council recognises that there are many businesses who have been impacted by the recent 4 week restrictions, but who do not pay business rates and who aren’t eligible for other financial support. To support these organisations, it is finalising details for Phase 1 of a Discretionary Grants Scheme (also known as Additional Restrictions Grants).
Subject to final approval from the Council’s Executive this week, it hopes to be able to offer grants of £1,500 to help business whose cash-flow has taken a nosedive in the last four weeks; either because they have been required to stop trading, or because a significant proportion of their income relies on trade with businesses who have been forced to close.
The Council recognises how challenging these current restrictions have been for many businesses and so are actively encouraging early applications from potentially eligible businesses so that we can be ready to pay out that grant as quickly as possible if the scheme is approved.
More details and an application form can be found on the Council’s website.
The Council wants to make sure it helps as many businesses as possible so if you are aware of any companies that may have been impacted, perhaps as part of your own supply chain, then please pass this information on.
Please note this phase of discretionary grants just covers the recent 4 week restrictions and the Council will be looking at further phases and other support schemes to help local businesses over the next few weeks and months.