Businesses in Leeds are being given a helping hand as the city aims to build back stronger than ever from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leeds City Council has already distributed more than £280m worth of support to thousands of local businesses since the start of the pandemic. Now two council grant schemes have reopened to try to ensure as many businesses as possible get the assistance they need to come through the crisis.
The first scheme is there to help eligible businesses with property costs such as rent, commercial mortgage payments and service charges. Successful applicants will receive a single, one-off grant covering between 50 and 100 per cent of their total fixed property costs for the period from October 1, 2020, to March 31 this year.
To qualify, businesses must have fixed property costs of at least £4,000 per year and must also be able to show that coronavirus restrictions have had an impact on their finances. Previous recipients should not reapply. The application window for this grant closes at 5pm next Monday, June 21, and there are no plans to reopen it again in the future.
The second fund is designed to provide assistance to people with businesses that have not received other pandemic-related support grants, including ones paid via the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Potential recipients include self-employed people, home-based businesses, businesses with commercial property costs of less than £4,000 per year, smaller supply chain businesses and businesses that operate from a vehicle, such as driving instructors and taxi drivers who live in Leeds. Other examples of groups that could benefit include childminders, beauticians and people working in the weddings and events sector.
This scheme’s application window will remain open until 5pm on Monday, June 28. Successful applicants will get a single, one-off payment worth up to £1,000 to help them meet fixed business and property costs such as service charges and public liability insurance.
If you started trading before January 1, 2018, then you should only apply to this scheme if your business is in the leisure and tourism, retail, hospitality and events or childcare sectors or is part of an associated supply chain. People who requested support when this scheme was open earlier this year will find out if their application has been successful before the end of the month.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education said:
“We fully appreciate how hard the last 15 months have been for many businesses in Leeds and we have always said we will do everything we can to help them in their time of need.
“The reopening of these grant schemes is part of that ongoing effort. We are proud to be doing our bit to support business people across the city who have shown such incredible determination and fortitude over the course of the pandemic.
“We know there may be businesses in Leeds that have yet to access all the support they are entitled to, and we’re obviously keen to ensure they don’t miss out on what could be vital assistance.
“We would encourage anyone who thinks they may qualify for a grant to get in touch with us as soon as possible via our easy-to-use application process.”
The support available from the council also includes restart grants, on offer to eligible businesses in the personal care, gym and sports, leisure, accommodation, hospitality and non-essential retail sectors which were forced to close during the national lockdown that began to ease in April. The closing date for applications for one of these grants is Wednesday, June 30.
For further information about all aspects of the support programme, visit www.leeds.gov.uk