THE latest phase of funding support for businesses was launched by Monmouthshire County Council on Friday 12th February 2021. This follows the announcement at the end of last month by the First Minister of an extension of the current Restrictions Business Fund Non-Domestic (NDR) Grant to the end of March 2021.
Businesses that previously received the Restrictions NDR grant, in either December 2020 or January 2021, are eligible to receive a top-up payment of either £3,000 or £5,000. There is no need to re-apply. The council’s Business Grants Team have been processing payments and they have confirmed that the funds should reach eligible businesses’ bank accounts the week commencing 15th February 2021.
Previously, this scheme was available to retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses with a rateable value of up to £150,000. However, the extension of the scheme also now provides a new grant of £5,000 for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses with a rateable value of between £150,000 and £500,000.
Businesses who have yet to apply for the NDR grant can still do so by completing an online form, which can be accessed via a link on the council’s business page at monmouthshire.gov.uk/business-advice. Businesses can also check if they are eligible by reading the guidance information on the website.
For businesses who are not registered for Business Rates in the county, support is available through the Restrictions Business Fund Discretionary Grant. This grant is to support small businesses and sole traders that have been directly impacted by the extended restrictions. If a business previously received a grant under the Discretionary Fund in December 2020 or January 2021, they will need to make a new application for this extended scheme, as no automatic payments will be made. Businesses are allowed one application and the fund will run until such time as it is fully committed. To apply, visit the council’s website, as above.
Additional support for freelancers has also been announced. This new round of support, from the Cultural Recovery Fund, is available to freelancers who previously received a grant under the Freelancer Grant scheme. An additional payment of £2,500 will be available. It’s important to note that if the freelancer has since received a grant under the Discretionary Grant scheme then they will be ineligible for this additional payment according to the guidance set out by Welsh Government.
Individuals who previously received a grant under the Freelancer Grant Scheme will shortly receive an email from the council’s Business Grant Team asking them to confirm if there have been any changes in their circumstances. These additional payments can only be made on receipt of this information. Unfortunately, this grant is not open to new applications, however, anyone who missed out on the original funding can apply for the latest Discretionary Grant (details of which are above).
Councillor Bob Greenland, Deputy Leader of Monmouthshire County Council said:
“We are pleased to be able to confirm that the latest phase of grants available to businesses in Monmouthshire. The past few months have been especially hard for the businesses that were required to close following the introduction of Alert Level 4 in December. They were already struggling, even before these latest restrictions, so we will continue to lobby the Welsh Government for support, especially for those businesses that have so far slipped through the net on its funding schemes.
“We have been working hard to roll out the grants and support announced by the Welsh Government as quickly as possible. So far, we have processed in the region of £30million of financial support for businesses in the county. It is our hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel very soon, and we will be awaiting future announcements from Welsh Government with interest, in the hope of more support, and of eventual easing of lockdown when it is safe to do so.”