COVID-19 Recovery Grant Scheme for Square Mile SMEs opens to applications

COVID-19 Recovery Grant Scheme

The City of London Corporation’s new grant scheme to support Square Mile businesses that have been hit by restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 Omicron variant has opened to applications.

The City Corporation scheme of up to £10million is targeted at businesses that primarily operate in the City of London in the retail, hospitality, leisure and medical sectors.

An estimated 1,100 businesses are expected to qualify for support. Only businesses that were in occupation on 1 April 2021 and have been in occupation continuously since this date are eligible to apply for a grant.

The City Corporation is contacting most businesses that qualify directly and inviting them to apply for this support through an online application process. Other businesses that think they may be eligible can also apply via the City Corporation website.

The majority of funding is provided by the City Corporation, with additional financing provided through the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant. If a business operates from more than one location in the City, they will qualify for a grant for each location.

Businesses with lower and medium rateable values will receive higher levels of grant as part of the City Corporation scheme on the basis that SME businesses may be more at risk and less able to cope with the reduction of “in person” trade.

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Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will be eligible for a grant of £12,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of over £15,001 and less than £51,000 will be eligible for a grant of £12,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 and over will eligible for a payment of £5,334.

The City Corporation scheme will run in tandem with the Government’s Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme which is targeted at the leisure and hospitality sectors only.

In order to claim for both schemes, two separate application forms must be submitted. Applications will be accepted between up to and including March 18, 2022.

Further details and the application form can be found here.

Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “The lifting of Plan B restrictions is welcome news for those businesses in the Square Mile which depend on footfall for custom, but many are still grappling with the financial fall-out of the pandemic. The cancelling of the festive season was particularly disappointing for them after nearly two years of challenge.

“This scheme will provide some much-needed support for sectors that have been particularly affected by the recent restrictions. We urge eligible businesses to apply before the deadline.”

In 2021, the City Corporation launched a COVID Business Recovery Fund which paid out millions to Square Mile SMEs before closing last summer following the easing of restrictions.

All firms that previously received support from this fund will be contacted directly about the new scheme by the City Corporation’s finance team.

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