As we face Covid-19 setbacks, spare a thought for business owners

PUBLISHED: 13:16 02 August 2020

Many businesses have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but grants are available  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND (library picture)

Many businesses have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but grants are available Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND (library picture)

Charlotte Bond

It’s particularly tough for business owners as Covid rules change at such short notice – but some can still apply for a grant up until August 21, writes Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere.

Recent announcements by the Government demonstrate that coronavirus has not gone away.

Over the last week we saw the re-introduction of 14 days quarantine for travellers from Spain and Luxembourg, the lengthening of the isolation period for those with symptoms to 10 days, the pausing of further re-openings and the tightening of restrictions in the North of England.

This shows there will not a be a straight path back to normality out of this crisis – there are going to be many setbacks along the way.

However difficult this may be for us as individuals, please spare a thought for those trying to run businesses in such a time of uncertainty where the rules they must follow can change with as little as 24 hours’ notice.

And they must also do this while Government support is gradually being withdrawn.

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The grant schemes administered by councils have been a lifeline for many businesses, but the Government has now ordered that they should be shut down by the end of August.

The vast majority of businesses eligible for the national schemes eligible for Small Business Support Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants have already applied and received their money. If anyone has held off applying up to now, you must do so as soon as possible, or you will not be able to receive funding through these schemes.

Ipswich Borough Council’s Discretionary Grant scheme for businesses not eligible under the national schemes has also been ordered to close by the end of the month.

To ensure that as much of this money as possible is retained in the Ipswich economy, we have expanded the types of businesses that are eligible for funding.

Pubs, restaurants and charities in larger buildings are now eligible as are Ofsted registered nurseries, shared office space providers, business support organisations, major arts and cultural organisations and businesses or individuals that regularly hire space within retail premises.

Full details and application forms are available at this website

The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 21st August so it is important to apply as soon as possible. Once the deadline has passed the scheme has to be closed forever and all unallocated money returned to the Government.

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