Kingston Council has launched a £2million Business Restrictions Hardship Grant to support businesses through the current lockdown.

This is in addition to the £32m of funding given already this year to local businesses impacted by the periods of restrictions and lockdowns.

Councillor John Sweeney, portfolio holder for business at Kingston Council, said: “The new grant will initially focus on more of the businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions, especially those that have not qualified for previous grants.

“We can’t help every business we would like to, unfortunately, and we must prioritise those in sectors most severely impacted. If there is funding still available we will then be able to provide support to other affected businesses, including those that are home-based, market traders and those in shared work spaces.

“These grants will form part of a larger, interconnected programme of business and economic support we are offering over the next 15 months, including support for businesses to adapt to digital trading, innovate and grow; boosting the growth of the green economy in the borough; supporting business-led activity to boost local high streets; and exploring opportunities to support industrial estates.”

The new Business Restrictions Hardship Grant is aimed at smaller independent businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) that do not pay business rates and meet one of the following categories:

•    Were closed during the national lockdown but did not qualify for the ‘National Lockdown Grant’
•    In the hospitality and leisure sector (not paying business rates)
•    Hospitality and leisure ‘supply chain’ businesses – reliant on those in the hospitality and retail sector for a substantial part of their business, (such as event firms, catering, marketing, transport services, wholesalers, wedding services, security services)
•    Cultural and arts businesses with a trading turnover of at least £10,000 per year (whether they pay business rates or not).

Grants will range from £1,500 to £5,000, depending on the size of the business.

The funds for the programme are drawn from the Additional Restrictions Grant allocated to the Kingston Council from government.

Click here for further guidance and to apply.