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Businesses urged to apply for new Covid-19 grants

Businesses in Watford are encouraged by Watford BID to apply for the latest round of Covid-19 grants, following a decision by Watford Borough Council to direct money to those that have not been eligible for government grants.

Two new grants have been created following the national lockdown restrictions requiring certain businesses to be closed in order to help control the virus and severely impacting on others.

The first grant will be provided through the ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ awarded to the council to support businesses not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant that have been particularly affected by the restrictions, either by being required to close or because they are in the supply chain of businesses required to close. Funding of up to £3,000 is available, with grants dependent on rateable value or level of fixed business property costs. To find out more and to check the full criteria, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/ARG-Grant.

The second grant supports home-based businesses that operate in sectors required to close or are in the supply chain of businesses required to close that are not covered by other grant schemes. The ‘Home Business Support Grant’ provides a £500 cash grant. To find out more and to check the full criteria, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/home-business-grant.

Additionally, the council is currently distributing the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, a one-off top up for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. This one-off top-up will be automatically paid to businesses that successfully applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant without the need for them to apply.

The council has four further grants available to help local businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions. The grants can help businesses which have been forced to close or impacted by restrictions. The criteria for the following grants can be found at www.watford.gov.uk/businessgrants.

• LRSG (Closed) for businesses required to close due to national or tier restrictions.
• LRSG (Open) for businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions.
• LRSG (Sector) for businesses in certain sectors required to close since 23 March 2020.
• Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs that have been severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions.

To further support businesses, the council have partnered with social enterprise Wenta, to launch a free business support programme tailored to the needs of local businesses and residents across Watford. The programme provides free of charge services including one-to-one business advice, skills training webinars and workshops, access to co-working, incubation space for small businesses and specialist support. For more information, visit www.watfordbusiness.com/recovery.