BUSINESSES across Barrow affected by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak are being urged to find out if they can access new financial assistance from the government.
Small businesses in receipt of business rate relief as well as those in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors can apply for grants providing they meet a series of eligibility criteria.
It is hoped the first grant payments will be made from Monday, April 6 by a team of experts at Barrow Borough Council.
Councillor Ann Thomson, Barrow Borough Council leader, said people must apply for the funding if they believe their business is eligible.
“The borough council received an allocation of money from the government this week for businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“We know these are incredibly challenging times and we want to get this funding out to businesses in our area as quickly as we can.
“Our role is to make sure each applicant meets the eligibility criteria set by the government. Once this process is completed, we will make the grant payment without delay.”
There are two types of grant available from the government as part of a package of measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week.
Small businesses which already receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief can apply for a one off grant of £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
Businesses operating in the hospitality, leisure or retail sector can apply for a one off cash grant of £25,000 if they have a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.
Applications can be made online at Barrowbc.gov.uk via the Covid-19 Info page by downloading and completing the form and returning via email.
Alternatively, forms can also be printed out, completed, and posted to: Business Support Grant, Barrow Borough Council, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 2LD.
The borough council has also suspended business rates paid by direct debits in April to allow time for government relief to be applied where applicable and for amended bills to be sent out.
For residents, a series of alternative payment options are now also in place in respect of council tax.
Cllr Thomson added: “This is an unprecedented situation for us all.
“But please rest assured our teams are working very hard behind the scenes so we can process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible.”