Additional Covid funding will further support borough businesses

ADDITIONAL discretionary Covid funding for Barrow is to be paid automatically to eligible businesses in the borough.

Councils across the country received a third tranche of funding for the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme from the Government to support businesses affected by Covid restrictions.

Members of the authority’s Executive Committee agreed yesterday (Wednesday) that eligible businesses in the borough will automatically receive a top up payment from the fund in the coming weeks.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have been incredibly tough for a wide range of businesses.

“This grant scheme was set up to support businesses outside the rating system and businesses that were not mandated to close by law but that saw their work and income hit hard by the restrictions in place.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to support so many businesses and that additional help is on the way to ease the financial pressure they’ve been under to strengthen their recovery.”

Barrow Borough Council previously received £1,936,580 in Additional Restrictions Grant funding. The authority has so far paid out £1,960,445.

The latest sum - a further £376,753 - will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of eligible businesses and the scheme closed. The money is a one off cash award and doesn’t have to be paid back.

It means the total distributed via the Additional Restrictions Grant across the borough will be £2.3 million with 453 businesses benefitting from support.

Councillor Thomson added: “This last year has been very difficult for our business community as they navigated the effects of the pandemic, social distancing, restrictions and lockdowns.

“The Additional Restrictions Grant funding has helped hundreds of businesses that were not eligible for the Government’s Coronavirus Restrictions Grant (closed) to keep going.

“The team at the council has worked very hard to make sure this money was distributed as quickly as possible. Our thanks go to them for their hard work and dedication over such a sustained period of time.”