Newcastle City Council will launch a new business support fund to get much-needed cash to SMEs who fell outside the scope of previous government grant schemes.
Launching on 27 July, Round 2 of the council’s discretionary fund aims to get £5,000 grants to around 250 businesses, proving a vital lifeline to cash-strapped businesses.
The eligibility criteria has been widened from Round 1, so the council can support businesses who missed out on earlier grants.
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, which includes Round 1 which closed on 15 July.
The widened eligibility criteria includes:
• The business operates from recognised business premises (e.g. office, industrial unit);
• The business was based from home but had a regular commercial property cost based outside of the home, but within Newcastle e.g. storage costs, market licence; room hire; hot desk membership
• Owners of a Bed & Breakfast which pays Council Tax instead of business rates.
Cllr 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 need to complete a new application to be considered.
Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport. The scheme launches at 10 am on Monday 27 July.
The council is working closely with a range of partners, including NE1 and NGI. Together they will support businesses across the city, proactively reaching out to eligible companies, signposting and gathering intelligence to help inform potential new packages where gaps are identified.
Advice for businesses is available at: www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport