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Grant boost for York businesses as council deliver grants

Published Friday, 15 January 2021

York’s businesses will be among the first in the country to receive the latest lockdown grants as the amount of coronavirus, relief distributed by the council tops £140 million.

York’s businesses will be among the first in the country to receive the latest lockdown grants as the amount of coronavirus business relief distributed by the council tops £140 million.

The council has also published proposals which could extend grant support to even more York-businesses.

Hundreds of York business can expect payments by next Wednesday (20 January) after the council issued another £14.5 million of grants today, including one-off top-up payments of between £4000 and £9000 for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.

This means that the council has processed all payments for businesses which it knows are eligible for Local or Lockdown Restrictions Grants until 15 February, the government’s first review date of the current lockdown.
The council hopes to complete the Additional Restrictions Grant payments next week. This grant is designed to meet the needs of businesses not forced to close but severely impacted by the lockdown.

On Monday 18 January, the executive member for finance and performance, Cllr Nigel Ayre, and Executive member for economy, Cllr Andrew Waller, will consider proposals to extend support to even more businesses falling through the cracks of government schemes.

Changes include:

  • Offering grants to businesses which trade almost exclusively in York but are not residents of the area, including many York-licensed taxi drivers and market traders who missed out on previous grants
  • Giving the small number of B&Bs and hotels who legitimately pay council tax rather than business rates the same level of grant as other accommodation businesses
  • Giving businesses classed as essential but whose income has disappeared, such as food suppliers to hotels, the same level of grant as retail hotel and leisure businesses forced to close

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said:

We promised York businesses that our team were once again ready to get grants paid faster than the rest of the country.

“Having received the government guidance and funding on Wednesday, the payments have been processed without the need to apply within 48 hours, and will be in business bank accounts by Wednesday.
“I’d like to thank our payments team for their commitment to getting this money where it belongs, and our business partners across the city for helping us keep businesses informed and reassure them that the payments and support is on its way."

“While we’ve made the process as simple as possible by automatically paying businesses which have received grants, we know that there will be some who have never applied – I urge them to check the criteria and apply if you qualify on our website.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said:

Making sure grants get to businesses as quickly and simply as possible has been central to our pandemic response. This protects jobs, the supply chain and the city’s wider economy.

“We’ve also been listening to the city’s businesses and shaped grant schemes to support those which miss out. The Additional Restrictions Grant has helped hundreds of York businesses not forced to close but whose income is devastated by the restriction."

“The changes we’re considering on Monday could extend the support to many new businesses, and offer parity for many more."

“We also know this won’t cover all the need in the city, and we continue to demand more from central government on behalf of York’s business community. I would urge businesses who have fallen through the cracks, to please contact us as soon as possible at economicgrowth@york.gov.uk . Thanks to all those who already have – you have already helped us to convince government to improve the support, including extending grants to those in higher value premises.”

The decision session of the executive member for finance and performance takes place at 2pm on Monday. Please view the agenda and find details of how to live stream.