£1 million boost for businesses hit by pandemic.

  • thehaveringdaily.co.uk

A further £1 million worth of funding is now available through Havering Council’s Business Innovation Grant, which reopened for applications last Friday (30 April).

The grant went live as part of the latest wave of funding aimed at supporting businesses across Havering through the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Business Innovation Grant is a match-funded scheme that helps micro-businesses to change and adapt the way they work to be COVID-secure, build future resilience, aid in their recovery.

Thanks to the new funding, Havering Council will now pay up to 80 per cent of the cost of an eligible project, with a maximum total project size of £25,000.

Applicants will have to submit a robust proposal, demonstrating a clear commercial justification for the funding, within the eligibility criteria.

To be eligible, all projects must aim to achieve one of the following objectives:

  • Making a business more resilient to economic shocks
  • Diversifying the services and products on offer
  • Improving the way a business delivers services, manufactures products or purchases supplies
  • Improving competitiveness
  • Measures to make premises COVID-secure

In addition to the Business Innovation Grant, the new wave of funding includes a further £2,500 for businesses forced to close, or hit by supply chain closures, as well as several new grant schemes to support specific sectors and businesses across the borough that have been badly hit by ongoing restrictions.

Businesses already registered with the Havering Discretionary Grant Fund scheme from the previous round of grant funding will automatically receive the additional £2,500 in their bank accounts, with payments going through this week.

Further new grants announced on Friday in Havering Council’s Business Briefing included:

  • Licenced London black cab taxi drivers – A grant of up to £6,000 will be awarded to cover costs associated with the rental or financing of their vehicle for work purposes. Please note this grant does not apply to private hire vehicle operators, only to black cabs drivers.
  • Independent Car Repair Businesses – A grant of up to £7,000 is available for independent car repair businesses that have experienced a significant drop in income due to restrictions.
  • Independent Travel Agents – A grant of up to £7,000 is available for independent travel agents that have experienced a significant drop in income due to restrictions.
  • Special Treatment Licences – Tattoo and piercing studios, massage parlours, and other body treatment businesses that require a Special Treatment Licence will receive a grant equivalent to two years licence fees. This will be available for businesses that have been required to maintain their licence but unable to use it due to restrictions. Licence holders will be contacted individually and are not required to fill out an application form.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“Once again, Havering is leading the way in supporting businesses through this pandemic, and back to their livelihoods.

“We have spent considerable time listening to businesses and hearing their concerns, and I’m proud that we have been able to take the funding provided by the Government and work out the best possible grant structure available to support those local businesses that are most in need at this time.

“We continue to do everything we can to support our businesses, particularly retail, which has suffered most in the last year. Our free parking initiative, as well as the continued support of our officers in helping businesses stay COVID-secure, will help ensure the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown can continue, and more businesses can reopen safely.”

Businesses that are eligible for any of Havering’s support grants can find more information on the Council’s website, by visiting www.havering.gov.uk/covid19business.

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