Businesses in Watford are being encouraged to apply for the latest round of Covid-19 grants, following a decision by Watford Borough Council to direct money to those that have not been eligible for government grants.
Two new grants have been created following the national lockdown restrictions requiring certain businesses to be closed in order to help control the virus and severely impacting on others.
The first grant will be provided through the ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ awarded to the council to support businesses not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant that have been particularly affected by the restrictions, either by being required to close or because they are in the supply chain of businesses required to close. Funding of up to £3,000 is available, with grants dependent on rateable value or level of fixed business property costs. To find out more and to check the full criteria, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/ARG-Grant.
The second grant supports home-based businesses that operate in sectors required to close or are in the supply chain of businesses required to close that are not covered by other grant schemes. The ‘Home Business Support Grant’ provides a £500 cash grant. To find out more and to check the full criteria, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/home-business-grant.
Additionally, the council is currently distributing the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, a one-off top up for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. This one-off top-up will be automatically paid to businesses that successfully applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant without the need for them to apply.
The council has four further grants available to help local businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions. The grants can help businesses which have been forced to close or impacted by restrictions. The criteria for the following grants can be found at www.watford.gov.uk/businessgrants.
LRSG (Closed) for businesses required to close due to national or tier restrictions.
LRSG (Open) for businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions.
LRSG (Sector) for businesses in certain sectors required to close since 23 March 2020.
Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs that have been severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “I am really pleased that we have already been able to make a significant amount of payments to local businesses. We fully appreciate how tough it is out there for local companies and we will help as much as we can. We have chosen to use the Additional Restrictions Grant to support many of our small Watford businesses who may not have been able to access other financial help through the government schemes. I would urge anyone who thinks they meet the criteria to apply for this funding now.
“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of Watford’s economy, providing thousands of jobs for local people and making a vital contribution to the success of our town. In 2020, we distributed in excess of £17 million in grants to over 1,400 small businesses and we will be making sure this latest round of funding gets to local companies who qualify, quickly and securely.”
To further support businesses, the council have partnered with social enterprise Wenta, to launch a free business support programme tailored to the needs of local businesses and residents across Watford. The programme provides free of charge services including one-to-one business advice, skills training webinars and workshops, access to co-working, incubation space for small businesses and specialist support. For more information, visit www.watfordbusiness.com/recovery.