Council invites more applications for coronavirus business support

Date published: 18 June 2020

The council is inviting cooperative businesses, social enterprises and businesses which supply solely the hospitality and leisure industry to apply for a coronavirus business grant.

Over £40m in coronavirus grants has been paid to 3,673 businesses in Rochdale which were identified by government as being eligible for support soon after the pandemic hit.

Councils, including Rochdale, business representative bodies like the GM Chamber of Commerce and MPs lobbied the government on behalf of businesses which could not access support in the initial round of funding. In addition, local MP Chris Clarkson sent a letter to the Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough Council, calling for a review of rejected applications to make sure no business had fallen through the cracks.

Additional money was made available last month, and since then, over £1.1m has been paid out to 156 businesses across the borough, with those in multi tenanted units and B&Bs benefitting from the support, alongside charities, which the government asked to be prioritised.

Now the council is inviting cooperative businesses, social enterprises and businesses which supply only companies in the hospitality and leisure sectors with equipment or services, to apply.

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate ongoing fixed property costs and a significant drop in income because of coronavirus as part of their application. Their rateable value must be below £51,000 and they cannot have already benefitted from a government coronavirus grant or the business rates holiday.

Co-operative businesses and social enterprises are businesses which generate at least 50 per cent of their income from trading, with primarily social or environmental objectives. Their surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business and skills at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Our team has worked really hard to not only get cash out to businesses as quickly as possible to protect jobs and livelihoods, but we’ve also been instrumental in pushing government wherever we can to ensure that we can help as many people as we can.

“We’ve already helped a large number of businesses who were not covered by initial government schemes. The government has not given us as much flexibility as we’d have liked, so we won’t be able to help every single business, but we’re trying to be as fair as we can and using our local knowledge to support those with the most urgent need. The hospitality and leisure sectors will be the last to reopen, so our focus is on those in this sector which have not already been supported.”

Social enterprises and businesses which would like to apply can check whether they’re eligible and apply here:

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 3 July.

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