The process for businesses applying for support grants during lockdowns has not been straightforward. If, as a business, you are struggling to navigate this, you are not alone.
Here in Crystal Palace, there are high street business venues in at least three different boroughs, meaning three different councils and processes to become familiar with.
All high street businesses mandated to close or restrict trade since November 2020 should be eligible for some kind of support over this whole period. There a number of different grants available depending on what kind of business you run, the restrictions you have faced, and the local council you fall under.
For local businesses here are some practical steps to follow:
Subscribe to the business e-newsletter of your local council. This is always where important announcements and news about grants are made.
Visit our #ShopSE19 Covid hub. This has all the information on how to subscribe to council and government updates, web links and points of contact for each local council.
Use the local authority links to review the business grants available, criteria and any application deadlines. You may find there are different grants to apply for based on your type of business, business rate-payer status, the tier system and different lockdowns. Each London borough has different application processes and criteria.
If you own or manage a local high street business: join our informal local business network to share information and for Q&A. Register here.
Don’t give up. Central government funding has been allocated to established high street businesses as a priority group. There may be multiple grants to apply for (e.g. for Croydon, there are 10 different grants, which can be reviewed and applied for using a single online portal). It’s important that as many local businesses as possible check and claim entitlements. Consult your accountant and the local authority business teams for additional advice about your own situation and eligibility.
If you are a local customer or shopper: please spare a thought for businesses who have had to navigate all of this complexity, as well as find ways to keep their businesses afloat during 2020 and the early part of 2021, with scarce resources. Some local businesses have not yet received grants for Lockdown 2 in November 2020, due to complications in the application process.
Your continuing custom, support and loyalty is extremely important.
Please do what you can to #ShopLocal and support our local businesses.