High Peak council launches new Covid hardship grant to help businesses previously ineligible for support

High Peak Borough Council has launched a new Covid hardship grant scheme to help businesses which have not previously been eligible for support.

By Ed Dingwall
Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:58 pm

At the last count, the council had already paid out £35million to local firms via 4,500 applications to the mandatory or discretionary schemes backed by £40m from central Government.

But the rules attached to that funding mean that it has not reached every business which has been forced to close or seen a significant reduction in income due to public health restrictions over the past year.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, deputy leader and executive member for regeneration, tourism and leisure, said: “While several grant schemes for businesses affected by Covid are now open, some have still fallen through the gaps because they aren’t eligible under Government guidelines for the mandatory or discretionary grants.

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High Peak Borough Council has distributed more than £35million to businesses since the pandemic began.

“We are keenly aware that there are people and businesses that haven’t qualified previously such as home-based businesses, so I am delighted to be able to launch our hardship fund payment to address that here locally in the High Peak.”

He added: “Anyone who thinks they are eligible can now apply via the application form on our website and I would strongly urge people do so so we can get this funding out to those who really need it as quickly as possible.”

The one-off payment covers the period from November 4 through to March 31.

Among those eligible are licenced local taxi drivers who also live in High Peak and who have not had a discretionary grant since November, and essential traders with a permanent shop or market lease agreement who have experienced a significant drop in income due to reduced footfall.

Home based businesses – including those in the arts, cultural and events sectors – and self-employed traders, based in the borough with ongoing overheads, can also apply.

Grants may be awarded to rate-paying small and medium-sized businesses in exceptional circumstances – such as where they are at risk of failure and ten or more people will be made redundant.

For more details of all financial help available to businesses, go to https://bit.ly/2ZOMS66.

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