Stockport Council has announced it is expanding its discretionary grant schemes to support a greater range of businesses affected by the pandemic.
The support will see businesses outside of the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors become eligible for both the Stockport Additional Restrictions Grant scheme and the Local Restrictions Support Grant for Open Businesses, affecting organisations that were impacted during the lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December, and subsequent periods of lockdown. Support will be backdated to the first date of eligibility.
The discretionary schemes allow councils to support businesses that have missed out on other support as they do not have a business rates liability. Stockport Council is adding a number of sectors to those already eligible for the schemes; these are:
- Children’s nurseries
- Travel agencies and travel businesses
- Aircraft and aerospace businesses/suppliers
- Events businesses with premises costs
- Education sector suppliers
- Kennels/catteries with premises costs
- Businesses which have a significant fleet cost of multiple vehicles
- Supply chain businesses from sectors other than hospitality and leisure, that have separate business premises outside of the home, and which have had their trade substantially negatively impacted because of reduced/limited trading of end point businesses.
To be eligible for the Stockport Additional Restrictions Grant scheme bus also meet the following criteria:
- Businesses that have been significantly negatively affected by being forced to close by national restrictions announced on 31 October 2020 and that came into force on the 5th November 2020, where companies are not covered under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Scheme but have significant fixed costs which are not related to employment.
- Businesses which are strategically important and/or provide a significant number of jobs.
- Business with premises and fixed property costs. Those businesses which effectively work from home have not been included as the ARG guidelines prohibit wage support and direct the self-employed to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or Universal Credit.
- Businesses with a registered address in the Stockport Borough Council area have been eligible for this scheme. The business will need to be trading within the Stockport Borough.
- The business must have been actively trading on and before the 4 November 2020.
The following businesses have not been eligible to receive a grant, and this continues to be the case:
- Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely and/or online;
- Businesses in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions as defined by Government;
- Businesses that have chosen to close but are not required to;
- Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State Aid permitted under the de-minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework;
- Businesses that were/are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made at the date of the local lockdown; and
- Businesses that are still subject to national closures (e.g.: nightclubs) as they are covered by other schemes.
- Businesses that are subject to enforcement action for not complying with Covid-secure operating practices.
Businesses will need to be able to demonstrate that they have fixed property costs and demonstrate a loss in income as a result of the pandemic.
The Council has not yet received funding for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for Open Businesses scheme for the period following the end of the lockdown on 2nd December 2020. Once confirmation of funding from central government has been received, Stockport Council will resume accepting applications and making payments.
The Council is also working on ways to make repeat payments for eligible businesses to eliminate the need to reapply. If your business has already successfully applied and received payment for either of the discretionary grant schemes, please do not reapply for additional periods of restrictions as this may delay future identification and processing of repeat payments.
Further information on the schemes will be updated on the Stockport Council website.