Stoke-on-Trent businesses are set to receive a further grant to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, under phase two of the ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’.

This comes as phase one of the fund saw a total of £266,488 allocated out across 189 Stoke-on-Trent based businesses. Applications for the latest funding opened on 15 January and will be accepted up until l28 January – applications may be extended if required. Those who were successful in receiving a grant in phase one will not be required to complete a new application and will receive further payments under phase two as applicable.

Phase two Additional Restrictions Grant will be paid to:

Businesses trading from premises for which they are not the direct ratepayer (e.g. shared spaces, or premises under a paramount control of another party)

Home and Mobile workers that can demonstrate ongoing fixed business related costs

Businesses which, whilst not legally forced to close, are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place.

This will include businesses registered for business rates which supply the retail, hospitality, personal care and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector where such trade represents more than 50% of the expected business with a closed organisation.

Market Traders within the council’s area, who are not able to trade, due to the nature of their business or the closure of the premises from which they trade

Bed & Breakfast businesses which are liable for council tax rather than business rates

Businesses that can evidence that their takings have reduced at least 50% for the period 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020 directly compared to 1 November 2019 to 31 December 2019

Under this grant, Stoke-on-Trent City Council received a one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head of population as national restrictions were imposed on 5 November 2020. This was topped up as part of the £594 million discretionary fund for Local Authorities announced on 5 January 2021. Grant payments will be made for the period- 2 December 2020 to 15 February 2021.

Leader of the city council leader Abi Brown said: “We know any type of funding is a lifeline that can help businesses to keep going through the restrictions in place in response to coronavirus. I’ve lobbied government for the best deal for businesses in the city, and will continue to do so. It is fantastic to see so many businesses have already benefited from the ARG grants, and we want as many businesses as possible to be able to benefit from the next phase.  Whilst applications were live for the first phase we received lots of enquires about who can apply. Market traders – whether essential traders or not – and driving instructors can apply for this grant but must meet all of the qualifying criteria. We were we also asked if dog groomers can apply, under new legislations they cannot however they now qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses. We have a dedicated helpline businesses can call and I encourage businesses to call if they have any queries.

“Over the coming weeks we will be sharing details on further funds businesses can apply for and we are continuing to do all we can to support our local economy during these tough times.”

Businesses are encouraged to check the criteria and apply via: www.stoke.gov.uk/businessgrants

This comes alongside news that small businesses will receive insurance pay-outs covering losses from the first national lockdown, following a court ruling.

Business can call the dedicated helpline on 01782 236878 or e-mail: business.growth@stoke.gov.uk

For the latest information on council services and support during the coronavirus, and frequently asked questions, please visit www.stoke.gov.uk/coronavirus. For latest health advice on the coronavirus, please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, and for further information on the virus visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated. If residents have symptoms, please get tested. All residents must continue to follow the guidance of wash hands, cover face and make space.

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