Kirklees Council has expanded its Covid-19 Discretionary Grant scheme. Meaning that the grant will support more businesses and the self-employed.
Kirklees Council received a boost of £3.9 million towards the borough’s Discretionary Grant fund when the government announced a further lockdown in January.
Kirklees Council has used the additional funds to expand the eligibility criteria of the grant scheme. The expansion of the grant will support more businesses and self-employed.
Who can claim?
The Discretionary Grant provide financial aid to self-employed residents, home-based businesses and businesses. It will support those which were legally required to be closed from November’s lockdown.
Businesses claiming support from the grant can not be registered for business rates. For example, daily licence market traders selling non-essential goods would not qualify.
Additionally, the grant supports businesses that have remained open but have been severely impacted by lockdown restrictions. For example, childcare providers can claim help under the scheme.
What changes were made to the scheme?
Since the boost in funds from the government the working of the Discretionary Grant scheme has had some changes.
For example, self-employed applicants no longer have to prove that they have not received other financial support from the government. Their payments will also increase.
Eligible businesses will see ‘top-up payments’ of up to £9000. This top-up will allow eligible business to match the Closed Business Lockdown Payments announced by the Chancellor as a result of the latest national lockdown.
In addition, if taxi drivers use Covid-secure working practices they could receive up to £1,000.
“Vital we do all we can to help.”
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council said:
“Businesses in Kirklees have suffered more than most with the disruption caused by lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions. We’ve now paid out nearly £130 million to over 11,000 shops, pubs, restaurants and other businesses across the local economy to help them through these tough times. We’re now expanding our support to include local people who are self-employed. This includes taxi drivers who could qualify for £1,000 and people whose business is based at home.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the resilience of businesses in the face of challenges created by COVID-19 and it’s vital we do all we can to help them stay afloat. We’re giving ourselves a better chance for a speedy economic recovery once we’re able to return to some sort of normality.
“Officers continue to work tirelessly to get money paid to those that qualify for a business grant as quickly as possible.
“Businesses should look on the council’s website to see if they qualify for support and make a claim as soon as possible if they do.”
The expansion of the Discretionary Grant scheme doesn’t replace other grants. The Christmas support grants for pubs that predominately sell alcohol remains available to claim. Applications will remain open for the ‘wet-led pub’ payment until midnight on 28 February 2021.