Bedford Borough Council is extending its business support grant scheme to support more local businesses. This extension follows a decision signed by the Mayor, and is subject to call-in. This means the decision could be scrutinised by the appropriate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Council said this extension will provide support to businesses which do not operate from a business premises but which have fixed business costs and have experienced a significant reduction in income due to COVID-19 restrictions.
To provide support as quickly as possible to as many businesses as possible, a one-off grant payment of £500 or £1,000 (depending on the size of the business) will be made.
These grants will be made as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is a fixed amount of funding from the Government and is intended to provide support to businesses right up until April 2022. £2million of the ARG will be put towards these grants.
The Council said that these grants are not intended to replace income that has been lost due to restrictions or provide income to the business owner. The Government has put in place other forms of support to assist business owners whose personal income has been affected by restrictions. Rather, the payment is to assist with fixed business costs.
Cllr Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said:
“We are pleased that we can now extend this support to a wider range of small businesses such as mobile hairdressers, self-employed trades people, driving instructors and taxi drivers.
“Having a clearer idea about the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown has enabled us to extend the support we can give from our limited government funding to help more businesses to meet unavoidable fixed costs.
“Throughout COVID-19 restrictions we have worked hard to provide as many local businesses with support as quickly and fairly as we can, and we will continue to do so. The online form to access this funding will be available very soon at www.bedford.gov.uk/bsg.”
The date this decision can be implemented if not called in is 19 March 2021. An online form will be available in the coming days to enable businesses that are eligible for this grant funding to contact the Council at www.bedford.gov.uk/bsg.