The latest package of support for businesses impacted by Covid-19 is only open for applications until the end of this week.

Businesses that have not received funding from any of the Covid-19 grant schemes that the council has been administering since September 18, 2020 are able to apply for a one-off grant payment, if they have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

But applications close at midnight on Sunday, April 18th and businesses are being urged to act fast if they think they may be eligible for support and have not yet applied.

Businesses must still be trading and must have been operating on September 18, 2020 in order to apply.

They must also have non-domestic ongoing fixed costs integral to running their business at a minimum of £200 per month, which includes costs like vehicle lease/ loan, vehicle insurance for commercial purposes, a business phone contract or other fixed costs.

Applicants must be able to show that the business provides more than 50 percent of their income.

The scheme, which is the latest package of support that the council is administering, will help businesses that might not have qualified for support during previous rounds of funding.

Peter McIntyre, executive director of city development at Sunderland City Council, said: “As we begin to see restrictions eased, we know many businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief.

“It has been a challenging time for lots of companies, and this grant will go some way towards helping those who have been heaviest hit by the pandemic, but have not been eligible to apply for other grants to support them through.

“We’d urge businesses that believe they might qualify for this grant to make a claim as soon as they can this week.

“We have already paid out over £5.5m of the £8m allocation to businesses impacted by Covid-19 from our discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund – it’s taken a Herculean effort from the teams at the council to deliver such fast and efficient support to businesses, but one that will make a huge difference to those impacted by it.”

The latest grant scheme broadens the range of businesses who can access support via the ARG.

Applicants will be expected to provide:

• a copy of a business bank account statement demonstrating ongoing fixed business costs,
• copies of business bank account statements demonstrating trading activity,
• other evidence as appropriate for the individual expenses (e.g. copy of insurance certificate, copy of commercial vehicle lease agreement etc) if requested,
• proof of a current DVSA certificate of registration including named instructor details, photograph and expiry date (for driving instructors only)

This scheme is open to businesses who were not eligible for previous grant schemes within the hospitality, accommodation or leisure sectors, suppliers to these sectors or those delivering in-person face-to-face services, which have been mandated to close or severely impacted by local or national restrictions.

Grant awards will be made at a flat rate of £2,000. No payments will be made until after the application period has closed. Work is ongoing to assess the applications which have already been received.


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