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New £4.5-million fund to help businesses hit by Covid

North East Lincolnshire Council is set to distribute £4.5-million to eligible local businesses as part of the Government’s Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund.

The Government created the £1.5-billion fund to support businesses affected by the pandemic but not eligible for existing business rate support.

Cabinet members meet on 8 September to discuss a report about the fund and how it will be distributed.

If approved, North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) will distribute the money in the form of business rate relief refunds for the tax year 2021/22.

The relief will be paid to businesses outside the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (who have already benefited from other types of relief).

Guidance from the Government sets the criteria the Council must follow when allocating the fund.

Councils must:

  • Provide direct support to business ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to the impact.
  • not award relief to ratepayers eligible for other certain reliefs
  • not award to unoccupied properties (unless temporarily closed due to Covid).

If the report is approved, there will be no need for businesses to apply for the funds. The Council will use data from the Office for National Statistics, the Valuation Office Agency and its own records to identify the businesses most affected by the pandemic and apply relief directly to their business rates accounts.

Councillor Stephen Harness, portfolio holder for Finance, Resources and Assets, said:

“This additional support is excellent news for businesses in our area who were hit by the pandemic but weren’t eligible for other types of business rate relief.

“We expect 770 businesses in North East Lincolnshire will benefit from the £4.5-million support package.

“More information will be made available to eligible businesses in the coming weeks.”

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