Kirklees taxi drivers, market traders and childcare providers could now be eligible for support grants

Taxi drivers in Kirklees who operate using Covid-secure working practices could be eligible for a £1,000 support grant.

By Tony Earnshaw , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 1:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 1:46 pm

And self-employed or home-based businesses in the borough – such as childcare providers – could get up to £9,000 if they have been required to close during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kirklees Council has been handed an additional £3.9m to distribute to businesses and the self-employed that meet the relevant criteria.

The cash follows the expansion by the government of the Covid-19 Discretionary Support Grant Scheme. The money is administered by local authorities such as Kirklees.

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Taxi drivers can apply for funds

The Discretionary Support Grant provides financial help to self-employed residents such as taxi drivers and home-based businesses as well as businesses that have been legally required to close from November 5 2020, but are not registered for business rates, such as daily licence market traders selling non-essential goods.

Those businesses that have remained open but have been severely impacted by Covid restrictions, like childcare providers, can also claim help under the scheme.

The changes will see top-up payments of up to £9,000 for eligible businesses to match the Closed Business Lockdown Payments announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a result of the latest national lockdown, which began on January 5.

Self-employed applicants will no longer have to demonstrate that they have not received other government financial support, and payments will be increased.

Taxi drivers could also receive up to £1,000 for using Covid-secure working practices.

Council Leader Councillor Shabir Pandor encouraged people to go online to check whether they are eligible.

He said: “Businesses should look on the council’s website to see if they qualify for support and make a claim as soon as possible if they do.”

The council has so far paid out almost £130m to more than 11,000 shops, pubs, restaurants and other businesses across the local economy.

Staff have been redeployed from their normal duties to assist in making payments.

Coun Pandor added: “I’ve been incredibly impressed by the resilience of businesses in the face of challenges created by Covid-19 and it’s vital we do all we can to help them stay afloat.

“We’re giving ourselves a better chance for a speedy economic recovery once we’re able to return to some sort of normality.”

Other government grants are still available to claim, including Christmas support for pubs that predominately sell alcohol.

The application closing date for the “wet-led pub” payment has recently been extended to midnight on February 28.

For the latest information about business grants, and to apply, go to www.kirklees.gov.uk/coronavirusbusiness