COVID support grants ready to be allocated for Brentwood businesses

Brentwood Council has given the go ahead for the allocation of a series of COVID-19 support grants.

Businesses in Brentwood can apply for four new national grants that local authorities administer.

The open grant – for businesses that were not legally required to close but were significantly impacted by restrictions between the period of October 17 and November 4 when Essex was in tier 2 – are awarded based on the rateable value of the business.

The closed grants are for businesses that are legally required to close and have been significantly impacted by restrictions for the period of local entitlement between November 5 and December 2 in the national lockdown.

Brentwood Council estimates that there are 720 businesses that can apply for this grant.

The sector grant is for businesses that have remained closed since March.

This support is aimed at nightclubs and they will receive £3,000 for every four week period, while they remain closed.

From November 5 they move into the Localised Restrictions Support Grant scheme.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is aimed at businesses that have been adversely impacted by the national and local COVID-19 restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus.

Brentwood Council has been provided with around £1.5million to support local businesses throughout the period of November 5, 2020, up until March 31, 2022.

The funding level is finite and therefore, the council, to fairly administer the scheme, will hold multiple application windows.

Any business wishing to claim will need to complete an online form on the council’s website and awards will be considered against set criteria.

There is a fifth grant – the business adaption grant – which could amount to £80,000 for Brentwood businesses.

Chris Hossack, leader of Brentwood Council, said: “It is critical for those businesses that are closed that we get this support into their bank accounts as quickly as possible.

“They are in a difficult position. This is not about subsidising their income or salary. If you have no income you can’t pay overheads.

“While we are saying this is to pay overhead, which it is , the reason we are here is a lot of these businesses don’t have the income to pay their fixed overheads.

“Just because their shop isn’t open doesn’t mean their landlord doesn’t want paying.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter