Small businesses across Charnwood who have been financially hit by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for a grant of up to £25,000.
Charnwood Borough Council has launched its business discretionary grant fund for companies that have previously been unable to claim government financial support.
The £1.6 million is open to small businesses that can demonstrate they have been significantly affected by COVID-19.
The council is particularly keen to see applications from businesses that support local jobs and provide services that will be important to communities when recovering from the pandemic.
Cllr Tom Barkley, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Finance, said: “We have developed a scheme to help as many Charnwood businesses as possible as we know there are many that are continuing to struggle.
“This funding from the government is very welcome but we expect there to be a lot of interest and that’s why we’ve worked hard on the eligibility criteria to ensure it has the most economic impact for the borough.
“It isn’t an endless pot, so unfortunately there will be some who lose out. I would like to reassure business owners that we are doing all we can.
The business discretionary grant scheme will launch on 3 June. Businesses will have until 8am on Monday, 22 June, to apply online. All applications will be assessed after this date, with funding paid directly to businesses from 29 June.
The Government has provided an initial set of criteria which says the fund is open to charities, businesses in shared business space such and market traders.
Regular market traders will share funding of £20,000 from the scheme, with the grant amount based on average stall rent paid between January and March 2020.
The Council also has some discretion about which businesses it can fund and will look to distribute funding to businesses that support employment in Charnwood, deliver health, welfare or community support services or have relatively high on-going fixed property costs.
More information including eligibility criteria and an application form can be found at www.charnwood.gov.uk/dgf.