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Covid grants offer extra ‘lifeline’ to thousands of local businesses in Buckinghamshire

| March 8, 2021

Over 2,800 businesses in Buckinghamshire have received Covid ‘safety net’ grants paid out by Buckinghamshire Council.

The grants have been paid out through the Buckinghamshire Additional Restrictions Grants (Bucks ARG) scheme.

The local grant scheme was put in place to provide a financial lifeline to help local businesses who fall outside the funding criteria set out by national government under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).

The last round of Bucks ARG funding round closed on Sunday 28th February 2021. Buckinghamshire Council has focussed on getting this safety net funding out to businesses as fast as possible.

Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council said: ‘Our Bucks Additional Restrictions Grant has been a lifeline for many Bucks businesses who weren’t eligible for the main government national funding support schemes.

We have made it a real priority to get this money flowing out into the local economy as fast as we possibly can. Unlike many other councils in the country who are still sitting on funding, I’m proud to say we have focused on trying to get every penny out to help our local businesses. We’ve got around 94 % of our additional grant money out of the door and straight into the bank accounts for local businesses.

So far over 2,800 different businesses have received funding from the Bucks ARG local scheme which has distributed £14.1 million to local businesses in three rounds of funding. Buckinghamshire Council estimate these businesses employ a combined total of around 7,600 people.

The focus for Bucks ARG grants has been on processing applications quickly to get money out to businesses and to help self-employed people who may not have qualified for other support.

The grants team has received over 7,000 individual applications over the three rounds of this funding. There are still some applications still in process, but it is expected that approximately 94% of the available funding will be to distributed by mid March 2021.

Over £1.75 million has gone to self-employed people like local dance music producer and DJ Sean Matthews found out about the local additional restrictions grants through an interview which Martin Tett did on a local radio station.

Sean Matthews said: ‘I, like millions, found myself excluded from government support. I heard about the Bucks Additional Restrictions Grants and found out that I was eligible to apply. The money was in my account within two weeks.

This has been a massive life saver for me, it’s the difference between paying existing bills and racking up possibly huge amounts of debt. I’m extremely grateful to the team at Buckinghamshire Council for making sure this Additional Restrictions Grant reaches people that need it. Thank you.

Local Restrictions Support Grants are still being paid out to businesses. Additional funding to cover the period from Tuesday 16th February 2021 to Wednesday 31sy March 2021 is now available for all businesses who meet the qualifying criteria.

To make things even easier, all businesses who have already received LRSG payments do not need to apply again for the additional funding. They will automatically receive payment from Buckinghamshire Council in the first half of March.

If your businesses hasn’t yet applied for LRSG funding, it’s worth checking to see if you are eligible for this financial support. The information you need and the application form is all available online on the Buckinghamshire Council website at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/coronavirus-business-grants/local-restrictions-support-grant/.

Further information about Covid business support available in Buckinghamshire can be found on the business support hub page of the Buckinghamshire Council website at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/.

*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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