East Suffolk Council has paid out over £14 million in the last week to local businesses affected by new national restrictions introduced by the Government as it continues to support them during the pandemic.
New national restrictions were introduced on 5 January in a response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and Council staff have been working hard to ensure local businesses receive the much-needed financial support they’re entitled to through the Government’s business grant scheme.
As part of its response to the new restrictions, the Council is automatically making payments of all business grants to eligible businesses based on a successful application for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), which has been available since the national lockdown in November 2020, and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is available to those businesses who may fall outside the eligibility of the LRSG scheme.
This means that businesses who have already successfully applied for the LRSG or ARG do not need to do anything, unless their circumstances have changed since they applied, as they will automatically receive payments of the grants they’re entitled to. However, businesses who have yet to apply are encouraged to do so now as they will not receive the financial support they’re entitled to.
Cllr Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We know that this continues to be a very challenging time for a lot of our businesses, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them through this.
“Our staff continue to work extremely hard to process and pay out the grants as fast as they can, as we know these are a lifeline to many businesses. So far, they have paid out just over £80 million to our local businesses since the launch of the business grant scheme.
“It is important to understand that these grants are not loans that will need to be paid back, and they can make the difference between a business closing or surviving. We want our businesses to come out the other end in the strongest possible position to recover, therefore, I urge all businesses who haven’t yet, to check if they’re eligible for these grants. Even if you’re not sure it is worth checking as we’re not able to make payments to anyone who hasn’t applied through our website.”
In total, East Suffolk Council has paid out over £80 million to local businesses in East Suffolk through the Government’s business grant scheme since it was announced in April 2020.
All Covid-related Business Grant schemes are now closed to new applications.
As part of East Suffolk Council’s commitment to support businesses through this difficult time, the Council has also launched a free-to-use Digital Advice Service, which offers small businesses, especially those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, with an opportunity to get digital advice and diagnostics.
The service offers extensive digital business support, a personalised session with a business growth coach, access to digital growth workshops and group coaching sessions, as well as signposting to other forms of support including a small grant scheme to fund digital changes within a business. East Suffolk businesses are urged to sign up for the service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org