Buckinghamshire Council is ‘pulling out all the stops’ to give Bucks businesses an extra boost
Businesses in Buckinghamshire are now receiving the latest wave of business grants announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Guidelines for the delivery of this next wave of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) were released to councils by government on Wednesday last week and payments started to reach businesses in Bucks this week.
New LRSG grants now live
Local Restrictions Support Grants support businesses which have a rateable value and have been told to close, or whose business has been limited because of Covid. As a result of the Covid restrictions in place during December and January, many businesses across Buckinghamshire have seen their takings plummet during this vital trading period so it’s essential they get financial help as fast as possible.
To make it quicker and easier, all businesses in Buckinghamshire registered for LRSG support on or after 19 December will not have to re-register. They will automatically get this next wave of grants and we started processing them last Friday. Teams at Buckinghamshire Council are working seven days a week to fast track payments for the latest LRSG grants and continuing to process existing applications. Payments for both waves of LRSG are now reaching eligible Buckinghamshire businesses.
Any new applications for this latest round of LRSG need to be in by 31 January.
Special local boost for Buckinghamshire businesses
Buckinghamshire Council has also added an uplift payment to boost the money our local businesses are getting through LRSG payments. Local businesses have already started seeing these extra ‘Buckinghamshire Boost’ payments, worth an average of around £1000, arriving in their accounts as part of their December LRSG payment and we are still processing more. So far we have distributed £1.2 million.
Local ‘safety net’ – Bucks Additional Restrictions Grants (Bucks ARG)
In addition to boosting the local LRSG payments going out to businesses, Buckinghamshire Council is channelling government money to create additional local grants called Buckinghamshire Additional Restrictions Grants (Bucks ARG) . These extra grants are designed specifically to provide a financial safety net to help local businesses who fall outside the LRSG funding criteria set out by national government. Many self-employed people or businesses who can’t get LRSG are now benefiting from this extra local business grant scheme.
The largest demand for these Buckinghamshire Additional Restriction Grants has come from arts, entertainment and recreation businesses with wholesale and retail, motor repairs and scientific and technical businesses also well represented. Any business can apply as this is not a sector specific grant. So far, around £6 million has been paid out to businesses that would otherwise not get any financial help through the national LRSG scheme.
Any and all business sectors can apply for this current round of Bucks ARG funding which closes on 31 January.
A new Bucks ARG scheme will start on 1 February to distribute the additional national funding announced most recently by the Chancellor. We’re developing a new round of Buckinghamshire Additional Restrictions Grant funding to be released soon to get the latest funding flowing into the economy. Details will be on our social media channels @BucksCouncil and on our website www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council said: “We really are pulling out all the stops to give businesses in Buckinghamshire as much financial help as we possibly can, and we’re also fast tracking getting that money paid out to them as soon as we possibly can.
“Our local businesses are the economic heart of our entrepreneurial county and, by creating jobs and livelihoods for local people, they are also at the heart of our local communities. Right now, businesses in Bucks need every possible lifeline we can give them.”
He continued: “In January we estimate that we’ll be sending out around £33 million to help around 4,500 businesses in Buckinghamshire. We’ll keep on doing all we can to help them come through Covid. For some of them, the extra funding they get from us could be the difference between them having to fold or still being here next year.”
Businesses have until the end of January to claim for loss of December income under both the LRSG and the Bucks ARG schemes.
For information about all the business grant support available in Buckinghamshire go to https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/