July 23, 2020 @ 10:51 by Richard Dawson
Newcastle City Council will launch a new business support fund to get cash to SMEs who fell outside the scope of previous Government grant schemes.
Launching next Monday (July 27), round 2 of the council’s discretionary fund aims to get £5000 grants to around 250 businesses across the city.
The eligibility criteria have been widened from round 1 and the council are urging Newcastle firms to get ready as they expect a high demand for the remaining monies from the £3.2 million discretionary fund.
The widened eligibility criteria are to include businesses that operate from a recognised premises, businesses based from home but that have a regular commercial property cost outside the home, and owners of bed and breakfasts that pay council tax instead of business rates.
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment & culture at Newcastle City Council, said: “We know these are difficult times for small business owners, many who had to suddenly stop trading overnight and who are grappling challenging issues such as lack of cash flow, staff redundancies and lost customers.
“Round 2 is about providing a vital cash lifeline to our local firms who would otherwise go under, as they were excluded from earlier grants.
“If you applied for previous grants and were turned down, then you may be eligible for this new fund. Please get ready to apply, as we expect this funding to be allocated quickly, so don’t delay.
“We want to reach out to Newcastle businesses to let them know we are here to support them.
“Our business support team will provide fast access to this grant, typically within ten days on receipt of application, as well as providing support and advice to get our local economy going again.”
Newcastle City Council is advising that this fund is only available to businesses who have not received other forms of emergency government funding.
As this is a new funding pot, businesses who were unsuccessful in earlier applications will also need to complete a new application to be considered.