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Business & Economy

Sunderland council launches fund for businesses frozen out of existing schemes

Sunderland City Council has launched a new business support fund, providing a lifeline to businesses hit by COVID-19.

The Covid Resilience Grant provides financial support to firms that have been unable to tap into previous COVID-related funding schemes.

Grants are available to businesses from all sectors with ongoing fixed commercial property costs, so long as they can provide evidence of the impact COVID-19 has had on them.

A one-off payment – ranging from £5000 to £7500 and £10,000 depending on the level of fixed property costs – will be aimed at helping firms combat ongoing disruption to their operations.

Peter McIntyre, executive director for city development at Sunderland City Council, said the funding would provide support to many of the businesses that have so far been unable to access the funding required to help them through the pandemic.

He said: “While we have already helped hundreds of businesses across the city cope with the impact of COVID-19 over the past 12 months, we know that there are still many out there that have slipped through the net and for a range of reasons are yet to be able to tap into support to help them through this crisis.

“Through the Covid Resilience Grants, we are providing much needed assistance to more of those that have suffered due to the pandemic and providing them with financial support which will help to ensure that they are in as strong a position as possible to come through the pandemic and help drive the city’s recovery post-pandemic.”

The level of support for businesses will depend on the rateable value of the business property they occupy and, as with many of the previous grants, will be extended to those who do not have their own rateable value.

Those with fixed commercial property costs of less than £250 per month will unfortunately be ineligible to receive support.

Applications for the Covid Resilience Grant will be open until midnight on Friday, March 19, however eligible businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible so work to assess the applications can begin straight away.

Payments to businesses will begin from Monday 22 March.