Businesses in Cornwall are set to receive further grant payments to aid their recovery from Covid restrictions.
Cornwall Council has been allocated a further £4,427,419 by the Government to fund the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Scheme and began distributing it to businesses at the end of April.
Cornwall Council has already paid out around £9.5million to 2,639 businesses under the January 2021 lockdown Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) Scheme.
Demand for ARG outstripped available funds in January/February 2021 and the Council made the decision to pay 50 per cent of the total amount requested by each business, to make sure that those who applied and were eligible received some support.
At the time, the Council committed to paying those businesses more if further funds were made available, an approach that it says was consulted on with business representatives.
Now the extra funds, coupled with residual cash from previous funding, will be distributed to those businesses awarded 50 per cent of their claim thus far.
The Council has now said businesses will now receive a total of 90 per cent of the maximum award or the amount they requested, whichever is the lower.
For example, a business which could have received £10,000 and received £5,000, will now receive a further £4,000, thereby taking its total grant to £9,000.
Cornwall Council has decided to pay this money now from its own funds, before the funding arrives, to make sure that businesses in need receive the money as soon as possible.
The £4.4million budget only allows the Council to make top-up payments to businesses that received money earlier this year and so it is not possible to establish a new round of grants.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Cornish businesses eligible for the Government’s Restart Grant should have now received their payments.
The Restart Grant is a one-off grant to support eligible rate-paying businesses in reopening safely as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
£102million has so far been distributed to more than 13,500 businesses.
All businesses have been subject to pre-assurance checks, as a condition of the funding.
The council has also stated that those businesses still going through these checks will be paid as soon as possible and will be contacted if further information is required.