In response to the recent government announcement to move to Plan B measures, Cheshire East Council has increased the amount of support it is offering through its Business Interruption Fund to a maximum of £10,000 per business – with the deadline for applying now extended until February.
The Business Interruption Fund is to support businesses that can demonstrate they have continued to be impacted by the pandemic, post the ending of the government's 'roadmap out of lockdown' on 19 July.
Following the latest restrictions and guidance announced by government in response to the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the council has extended the deadline for applying to 28 February 2022 and is now offering awards of up to £10,000.
It means that those who previously applied for funding and received the maximum amount available at that time – £5,000 – can now submit a further application.
Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council's economy and growth committee, said: "There is no doubt that many businesses in Cheshire East will be greatly impacted by recent announcements from government and that they will be extremely concerned about what this means for them.
"We are committed to supporting our businesses through this period and have worked quickly to amend our policies so that we can increase the maximum level of financial support we can offer to eligible businesses.
"So far, I am pleased to say that we have paid out more than £424,000 through the fund and our teams are working hard to assess the many other applications that have been received.
"While the deadline for applying has now been extended, it is important to state that the fund does have a limited resource and awards will be granted on a first come, first served basis – so please don't delay."
The council has also extended the deadline for applying for its Recovery and Growth Grant to 28 February 2022.
The grant is aimed at supporting businesses to recover from the full impacts of the pandemic and is available to those seeking to invest in their premises, facilities or equipment to enable them to reopen quickly, bring staff and customers safely back to work, or to capitalise on new opportunities.
Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 towards eligible investments can be applied for retrospectively and so far, the council has paid out more than £773,000.
Support to apply for the grant is available through the council's Recovery and Growth Programme, which is aimed at assisting eligible businesses that are seeking to grow, adapt, diversify or expand their current operation to support their long-term sustainability.
The programme and grant scheme and Business Interruption Fund follow on from the council being awarded a further allocation of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) by government to help businesses to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and to help rebuild the local economy.
Applications for funding that are submitted over the Christmas period will not be processed until the new year.
For more information and to register for the FREE Cheshire East Council Recovery and Growth Programme, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/businessrecovery