Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is poised to act quickly to distribute one-off top up grants designed to help borough businesses through the latest Coronavirus restrictions.

The Government has announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors across the country are to receive individual cash payments worth up to £9,000 – payable per premises based on its rateable value – to provide a much-needed lifeline between now and the Spring.

This new £4.6 billion scheme comes after the Prime Minister placed the country into lockdown for the third time, on Monday night, meaning that non-essential businesses were forced to close until at least February half-term to help control the virus.

A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available by the Chancellor to help other affected businesses.

The Council has paid out £23,657,607 to businesses in the borough since the pandemic started in March 2020.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “I welcome the Government’s announcement of additional funding to help local businesses cope with the challenges of another lockdown. This new cash injection will provide some much-needed certainty for them at this critical time, protecting residents’ jobs in the process.

“As a small business owner myself, I understand how hard it is at the moment. Further guidance on how the grant scheme will work is expected today and once we receive that we’ll be concentrating on distributing the grants as fast as we possibly can, like we did in the previous lockdowns.”

The latest financial support package comes in addition to £1.1 billion of discretionary grant funding for councils, local restriction support grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extension of the furlough scheme to April.

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(Main image Tony Woolliscroft.)


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