BUSINESSES forced to shut because of lockdown are set to receive top-up payments as Milton Keynes Council hands out more than £3 million in grants this week.
The council will be giving out the top-up grants through the Business Support Scheme to firms that have been forced to shut since January. Businesses that have already applied through the scheme will automatically be awarded the money without having to reapply.
The council has invested in a new online grant approval portal to ensure that top-up payments are made automatically to eligible businesses without them having to reapply.
More than 1,000 grant payments totalling almost £2.8 million have already been processed.
The council will also be making an automatic payment to businesses that previously benefited from its Discretionary Business Support Scheme and did not qualify for the Business Support package.
It has also extended the Discretionary Business Support Scheme to provide a one-off payment of £250 to hackney carriage and private vehicle hire licenses holders in Milton Keynes.
Grants are still available for businesses to claim that were affected by the November lockdown and local tier restrictions towards the end of last year.
Since the pandemic began, the council has paid nearly 15,000 grants totalling £77 million to help local businesses. Businesses yet to apply for support should do so immediately.
For more information about the grants available and eligibility, visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/business/business-rates/help-for-businesses-during-periods-of-national-and-local-restrictions
Cabinet member for finance and resources Cllr Rob Middleton said: “We must continue to help businesses that need urgent support right now. The pandemic has left many businesses struggling and getting these grants to them at the right time could prove to be a vital lifeline.”
The council is awaiting guidance from government on a new grant scheme which would provide up to £18,000 to help businesses with reopening costs.
Cllr Middleton said: “I would encourage any businesses yet to apply to do so immediately so we can get you the support you need.”