Eligible firms in Swindon who have been affected by national COVID-19 restrictions can now apply for the next set of government grants being processed by Swindon Borough Council.

More than £30m has already been distributed to businesses on behalf of the Government and applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) are now open.

Eligible businesses which have been impacted by the national restrictions can receive grant payments for the period between 5 November to 2 December 2020.

The LRSG scheme is aimed at supporting businesses which have been mandated to close since 5 November and have live business rates accounts with the Council, even if rate relief has been awarded. Unlike the previous scheme, there is no upper limit for business rates values.

Businesses who can apply include those providing direct, in-person services on their premises, including those which have found alternative, safe methods of trading such as new takeaway services from a restaurant. Levels of funding for these grants are set by the Government and will be allocated to eligible applicants based on the business property’s rateable value.

Applications for the LRSG scheme are open until 5pm on Wednesday, 2 December 2020.

Alternatively, the ARG scheme aims to support small businesses which are not eligible for the LRSG scheme but have lost income since 4 November due to the national restrictions. Businesses which are eligible for this scheme do not need to have a live business rates account.

The ARG scheme is open for applications until 5pm on Friday, 11 December 2020.

Full guidance, criteria and application forms for both schemes can be found on the Council’s website at: www.swindon.gov.uk/covidbusiness

Businesses can apply with a simple online form and grant payments will be made as quickly as possible once applications have been approved.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We know these are challenging times for many businesses, but our officers are working incredibly hard to get this money into eligible firms’ bank accounts as soon as possible.

“I would urge any business which is facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic to head to our website and see if you might be eligible for one of these grants. Here, you’ll also find plenty of other advice and places to go for the support you need.”