Emergency grants launched to support Liverpool businesses hit by local lockdown restrictions

Emergency grants launched to support Liverpool businesses hit by local lockdown restrictions
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 16th Oct 2020

Applications have opened today for an £40m fund to help businesses in the Liverpool City Region affected by the area being placed in the highest level of local coronavirus restrictions.

Boris Johnson announced the new alert levels for England on Monday. The Liverpool City Region is currently the only one in the very high level which includes the closure of pubs and bars not serving meals and no household mixing indoors or outdoors.

The government has announced new support for impacted businesses but local politicians say it is not enough.

Referring to the extension of the government's Job Support Scheme to cover two third of employee wages at businesses forced to close, Liverpool City Mayor Steve Rotheram tweeted: "The government's new furlough scheme simply isn't good enough - if 80% was right in March, it should be now."

As a result, Rotheram said "a £40m stopgap fund" has been launched "to protect local jobs and businesses until government steps up and offers the funding we deserve".

Local lockdown grants for Liverpool businesses

Applications  are open now and close at 5pm on 30 October. Businesses can apply via their local authority website:

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Small and micro hospitality and leisure businesses

  • Based in the Liverpool City Region - Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral

  • One full time equivalent employee or more

  • Going concern

  • Business to consumer

  • Trading from a commercial premises

Local authorities aim to get the first funding to applicants within 10 days of applications being approved, with subsequent payments phased over the period of the grant.

In a joint statement, the Metro Mayor, City Mayor and leaders of the city region's six local authorities said: "Lots of the people affected by these new restrictions will be in low paid, insecure work and it is deeply unfair to expect them to survive on two-thirds of the minimum wage.

"We will continue to fight for a more comprehensive funding package, but in the meantime, where the national government has stepped away, we, as local leaders, will step up.

"We know that once a business is gone, they are gone, and we must do everything we can to prevent that."

In a serious of tweets, chancellor Rishi Sunak justified the government's response as sufficient enough to support businesses in the region.

"I wanted to take a moment to explain how the Job Support Scheme compares to other countries and how it interacts with UC [Universal Credit]," he said .

"JSS not only supports people by paying 2/3 of their salary but for many the remaining drop in earnings will be covered by the welfare system - up to 90%."

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Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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