£4.6million pot to help Northumberland B&Bs, small businesses and charities left out of help during crisis

Small businesses in Northumberland that were ineligible for other coronavirus grants can now apply for a share of a £4.6million pot.

Picture c/o PA.
Picture c/o PA.

Under the guidance issued by the Government, Northumberland County Council is now inviting applications for this discretionary grant fund from small enterprises that could not access the previous small business or retail, leisure and hospitality funds.

This includes B&Bs or guest houses with three bed spaces or more that pay council tax instead of business rates;

Businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, which do not have their own business rates assessment;

Small charities which receive charitable rates relief;

Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

Applicants must also be a small or micro business, have relatively high ongoing, fixed property-related costs, and be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “Local businesses are imperative to the future prosperity of Northumberland and we are doing everything that we can to support them through this most difficult time.

Grants of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000 are available. Applications are now open and will close at midnight on Sunday, June 14, with payments to be made as soon as possible.

Full guidance on the eligibility and the criteria is at www.northumberland.gov.uk/businesshub

Coun Jackson added: “Our lobbying work will continue, so that we can maximise the amount of support available and help more sectors.

“I will be writing to the Chancellor again to stress the special nature of our local economy and to tailor support to those local businesses most in need.

“We are determined to support our business community and for Northumberland to come out of this crisis stronger than ever. We are developing a recovery plan for the county, which will include encouraging strong backing for local businesses.”

Coun Cath Homer, the cabinet member for tourism, explained that the local authority is ‘not just relying on central Government’.

“We are developing a comprehensive package of measures to kick-start our successful local tourism offer once restrictions allow,” she said.

“Once we are through the current crisis, the council is determined to support our tourism sector back to the success that we have recently enjoyed, and more.”