Businesses in Cornwall are expected to be able to apply for the latest Government coronavirus support funding this week.
Cornwall Council leader Julian German provided an update on the local restriction support grants which are being provided to help businesses forced to close by the latest lockdown.
The council leader said that the grants would be administered by the council and it was hoped applications would open today (Friday).
He explained that the grants are “designed to support businesses that pay business rates and have been forced to close”.
Cllr German said that the council was setting up a system which would provide a “simple form” for businesses to complete to apply for the funding.
The council leader said that a discretionary grants scheme would also be launched next week for any businesses which are unable to access the local restriction support grants scheme.
He said that this would be “targeted at those that need it most” and said the application process would be announced next week.
During the last coronavirus grant scheme there were criticisms and concerns that holiday let owners had been able to claim the funding which was distributed by Cornwall Council.
Cllr German made it clear that the grants were only available to those holiday lets which are operated as businesses and not second homes.
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He said: “Second home owners are council tax payers, they are not eligible for grants. We are only paying out grants to those paying business rates.”
Cllr German said that the council had distributed the grants in line with the guidance and rules which had been set by the Government.
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Richard Whitehouse is the Local Democracy Reporter covering Cornwall Council and other public organisations across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
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He added: “If anyone believes that someone with a second home is falsely claiming to be a business they should report them – that would be fraud. If they are a second home not available for let that isn’t a business.”
And the council leader added: “We are following the Government rules, we haven’t done anything wrong or anything we shouldn’t be doing.
“In terms of the discretionary grants scheme we are only paying out to businesses that are owned within Cornwall.”