Businesses across Stoke-on-Trent that have had to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic have been given a cash boost to help them reopen their doors – and £11.5 million has already been paid to 1,769 of them.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is allocating grants to non-essential businesses including those in the retail, sports and leisure, personal care, and hospitality sectors that have remained closed in the city, under the government’s Restart Grant Scheme. The council has been given a total of £12,066,624 to support businesses in reopening and recovering from the pandemic, with the potential for further funding in the future.

The one-off payment will provide support to city businesses to help them reopen their doors to customers. Businesses will be allocated funding based on their rateable value.* Eligibility for this scheme will be assessed from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed Businesses) application. Therefore, if businesses have already made a Local Restrictions Support Grant application and received a grant payment, they are not required to complete another form, and payments will automatically be assessed.

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “We are really pleased to be offering another grant scheme to our local businesses to help them reopen and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Now that non-essential businesses are able to reopen with Covid-secure measures in place, it’s so important that they are supported to reopen their doors. Many of our local businesses have been sorely missed and we want to see them start to thrive again.

“If you’re a business and have received a Local Restrictions Grant payment, you will automatically be assessed for the Restart Grant, and so there is no need to complete any additional forms. Our teams are working quickly to get the money distributed, and made £11.5 million worth of payments on Friday, 16 April alone. This means that 1,769 businesses will immediately be able to benefit from the funding, and more will receive their payments soon.

“As we continue on the road to recovery from this dreadful virus, it is more important than ever that we try and shop locally where we can and boost our local economy.”

Businesses can find out more at https://www.stoke.gov.uk/businessgrants which includes the latest updates on support grants available and the eligibility criteria.

Businesses are asked to allow five working days from the date of remittance for payments to be received.

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