11,000 Kirklees businesses handed grants totaling £121.34m since the start of pandemic

Over £121.34 million in total has been paid out to 11,000 business in Kirklees since the start of the pandemic under Covid support grants.

Thursday, 28th January 2021, 2:07 pm

The Council has already released 2,204 payments for the new national lockdown grant, plus the new one-off ‘Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment’ announced by government on January 5..

These payments should reach accounts by January 20 and are worth up to £13,500 to support non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses that are legally required to close during lockdown from 5 January to 15 February.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council said: “I’m pleased to say since the pandemic started the council has made business grant support payments totalling over £121.34 million to 11,000 local business in Kirklees, and this figure continues to grow daily.

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"Whilst these grants will not entirely resolve the financial pressures caused as a result of Covid restrictions, it will at least help to ease some of the burden. It’s a lifeline to many until we can return to some sort of normality and our economy can start to recover.

"Just like local authorities across the country we’ve had a huge number of applications to deal with. It’s been a mammoth task to implement these complex and ever changing payments.

F"ollowing government announcements we must wait for information about how to administer the schemes before we can introduce them. This can delay the process by a week or so. We can then update our systems but must follow guidance to perform various assurance checks on applications we receive. This is a necessary task to prevent against fraudulent claims, and we never ask for more information than we need, but it can also add to the timescales to get the money paid to those businesses entitled to it.

"I fully appreciate the difficulty our local businesses are facing and would like to thank them for their patience. We’ve continued to work hard to get this money paid as quickly as possible and have caught up to date with the influx of claims meaning most applications will now be resolved within 21 days of application.

"If your business is struggling I’d urge you to check the government rules to see if you could make a claim. In fact, it’s not too late for some businesses to claim support going back to August, when Kirklees was under Tier 2 restrictions."

Can people still apply for a grant?

Applications are still open for leisure, hospitality or accommodation businesses that were able to remain open, but were significantly impacted by the Tier 2 restrictions in Kirklees between August 5 and November 4 2020 or thereafter in Tier 3.

The grant could be worth up to £2,100 per 28 days but claims for this grant to be backdated must be received before 31 January 2021.

Other grants help those businesses legally forced to close due to national lockdown between November 5 and December 2, or have remained closed as part of the Tier 3 restrictions that followed, with up to £3,000 per 28 days. Claims for this grant to be backdated to November 5 must be received before January 31 2021.

Support is also available for ‘wet-led pubs’ that predominantly serve alcohol rather than food.

Those that receive less than 50 per cent of their income from sales of food will receive a £1,000 flat-rate grant. Applications for this grant need to be made before the scheme closes on January 31 2021.

A local discretionary grant supports those business that do not qualify for other grants. This includes businesses that have been legally required to close from November 5, but are not registered for business rates and the self-employed who have been unable to access other financial help.