Businesses urged to apply for grants from £1m funding pot
- Credit: Ellie Hoskins
Havering businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions can now apply for a portion of £1million made available to help them through the pandemic.
Applications for Havering Council’s Business Innovation Grant, funded by the government, reopened last Friday (April 30).
This is the second round of funding the authority has released following a £500,000 distribution in March.
The match-funded scheme is intended to help micro-businesses change and adapt the way they work to be "Covid-secure, build future resilience, aid in their recovery".
Leader of Havering Council, Damian White, said the borough had spent “considerable time” listening to businesses’ concerns and will use the funding to provide the “best possible grant structure.”
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He added: “We continue to do everything we can to support our businesses, particularly retail, which has suffered most in the last year.”
Through the scheme, the council will pay up to 80 per cent of the cost of an eligible project, with a maximum total project size of £25,000.
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Applicants are instructed to submit a proposal "demonstrating a clear commercial justification for the funding, within the eligibility criteria".
Projects must aim to make businesses "more resilient to economic shocks", diversify the services and products on offer, improve the way a business delivers services, implement measures to make premises Covid-safe or "improve competitiveness".
In addition, the council is offering £2,500 for businesses forced to close or hit by supply chain closures, as well as several new grant schemes to support specific sectors and businesses across the borough which have been badly hit by ongoing restrictions.
These include a grant of up to £6,000 for black cab taxi drivers licensed in London, and up to £7,000 for independent car repair businesses and travel agencies which have "experienced a significant drop in income due to restrictions".
Certain businesses will also be eligible for a Special Treatment Licence, including tattoo and piercing studios, massage parlours, and other body treatment businesses, which will receive a grant equivalent to two years' licence fees.
Businesses already registered with the Havering Discretionary Grant Fund scheme from the previous round of funding will automatically receive the additional £2,500 into their bank accounts, with payments going through this week.