More financial help for small businesses hit by Covid-19

Published: 22 July 2020

A second round of grants are to be awarded to small businesses in St Albans District that have missed out on Government funding for the Covid-19 emergency.

St Albans City and District Council is distributing the money and is asking companies that might be eligible to apply.

The financial aid is non-repayable and intended to help firms survive the impact of the pandemic.

The money is from the Government’s Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund with the Council having around £1.25 million to support eligible businesses.

Already, £355,000 has been paid to 39 businesses which have received grants of £25,000 or any sum of up to £10,000.

However, it is felt that there are still many businesses in the District that may qualify and have yet to apply.

In an effort to reach them, a second round of applications has been started and will run until Sunday 16 August. Details on how to apply are here: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/business-and-licensing.

Previous applicants should not apply again.

The grants are largely to help with property costs and to be eligible, a business must not have received cash from the Government’s other Covid-related schemes.

They should be classed as “small” or “micro” and be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Among the enterprises that the Council is looking to award grants to are regular market traders, bed and breakfast establishments, charities and firms that share offices.

Independent businesses which are considered important to making the District a vibrant place to live and work may also apply.

Decisions on the awards will be made by a panel of Senior Offices with no guarantee that an application will be successful.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, said: “I urge small or vibrant independent businesses and our amazing market traders who have had no Government help so far to take a look at the application form to see if they are eligible.

“We want to give our businesses every possible help we can which is why we are opening this second round of applications.

“It is our belief that there are still some businesses out there in the District that could benefit from this particular fund. We want them to get this financial support to help them survive this crisis.”

The Council distributed £23 million to over 1,500 businesses in the District, including some pubs, restaurants and shops, from two other Government schemes.

These were the Small Business and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Funds.