Date issued: 25 June 2020
From Wednesday 24 June, Colchester businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for a revised Discretionary Business Grant, which will be distributed by the council as part of the Government’s response to coronavirus.
The revised grant follows the launch of a Discretionary Business Grant scheme, on 10 June, which aims to distribute up to £1.7m to local businesses. The initial scheme aimed to support businesses who were unable to access the Small Business Grant or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant, announced in March. Up to 22 June, the council had awarded £1.1m to 133 eligible businesses through Discretionary Grants.
The revised Discretionary Business Grant will relax eligibility criteria to allow for more businesses to apply for the remaining £600,000. Grants will be worth up to £10,000 and will be available to businesses which meet the eligibility criteria, which can be viewed our website: www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus/businesses
Businesses will need to apply for the grant before Wednesday 1 July, by competing an online application form.
The funding for the grant is part of £42m received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government earlier this year to support local businesses in Colchester.
Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “Awarding £1.1m to eligible businesses in the form of a Discretionary Business Grant has offered vital aid to 133 local businesses.
“By relaxing the eligibility criteria for the grant we’ll be able to support even more businesses who have struggled through no fault of their own.”
“I know many good businesses been affected by the current health and economic crises. Our funds are limited, we cannot help all, but we will spread the remaining £600,000 we have as widely as we can.
“This funding will offer vital help for hundreds of businesses, and we encourage applications.
“If an application is unsuccessful there are ‘Bounce Back’ loans and other areas of support and advice. We encourage businesses to contact the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) for a fully-funded 1:1 business advice session.”
In addition to the £1.1mi distributed as part of the Discretionary Business Grant scheme since March, the council has distributed over £32 million to eligible businesses in the form of Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants.
For more information on Colbea and to book a fully-funded appointment visit https://colbea.co.uk/business-advice-coronavirus/
For information on the council’s response to COVID-19 and on business grants visit www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus.