Central Bedfordshire Council said that more businesses will be able to access further grant funding following the launch of its Restart Grant Scheme.

The Restart Grant Scheme enables rate-paying businesses, trading on 1 April 2021, to apply for a one-off payments to help them to reopen safely.

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail businesses and grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.

Only certain non-essential retail businesses are eligible for the grant. There are specific exclusions, including food retailers, garden centres, vehicle repair and MOT centres, laundrettes and dry cleaners.

Businesses can view the full Government guidance including eligibility and exclusions on the Government website.

The Government has indicated that local authorities will receive the grant payments in mid-April. So the council said it is not able to make payments before this time.

Councillor David Shelvey, executive member corporate resources, said:

“This scheme offers a one-off grant of up to £6,000 for non-essential retail premises, and another of up to £18,000 for non-essential hospitality, leisure, personal care and gym premises. The amount of grant funding awarded is based on the rateable value and the type of business applying.

“If you own a business in the any of these sectors, we would encourage you to visit our website to see whether you are eligible to apply for this grant.

“All applications will be processed in order of when they are received, and we encourage businesses to apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out.”

Any businesses that have previously received payments under the Local Restriction Support Grant, do not need to reapply.

Businesses can apply for the Restart Grant Scheme via the Council’s website until 30 June 2021.