Discretionary Top Up Scheme funding extended to local retail hospitality, leisure and charitable organisations by St Helens Borough Council

Last call for charities and small businesses eligible for grant funding in St Helens

St Helens Borough Council is launching the second phase of its Discretionary Top Up Scheme on Monday 20 July to financially support local businesses and organisations that may not have been eligible for initial grant payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government scheme, with limited funds delivered on a first come, first served basis, will shortly be open to independent, locally based retail hospitality and leisure businesses with premises from £51k to up and including £100k Rateable Value – and charities that haven’t previously been able to access grant funding. 

Retail hospitality and leisure businesses successful with their application will be awarded £25,000 – while charities can receive up to £5,000. 

To date, the council has distributed more than £25m in grants to more than 2,100 local businesses that have met certain criteria – with £512,500 paid out during phase one of the Discretionary Top Up Scheme to eligible small businesses and charities. 

Welcoming the funding opportunity, Terence Southward, who is one of the owners of The Kirkfield hotel in Newton-le-Willows, said: “I would like to thank St Helens Borough Council for their determined effort to offer some much needed financial support. Town Centre Manager, Gary Maddock, has been in regular contact during lockdown, updating me on how the local council were trying to put together a package for the businesses like ourselves that had missed out on funding. I cannot emphasise enough how important these funds are in order for us to keep operating the business.” 

Stephen Palfrey, Operations Director at Ruskin St Helens, added: “The small business support and advice we received from various council teams during this pandemic has been invaluable and we can’t thank them enough. .

“The council’s decision to open up this discretionary fund is a real godsend and will provide a much needed injection into cash flow after a really difficult period. We’d encourage any local business that thinks they might be eligible to apply.” 

Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: 

“This funding and the criteria for it has been designed to help local businesses hard-hit and vulnerable as a result of coronavirus, but fell just short of qualifying for grants under previous schemes, to hopefully secure their long term future, saving many jobs in the process. 

“Businesses – no matter how big or small in size or turnover – are all of equal importance in our borough so I’d urge those eligible not to miss out on this funding opportunity.” 

Eligible businesses and organisations can apply for Discretionary Top Up Scheme Phase 2 from 1:00pm on Monday 20 July by visiting www.sthelens.gov.uk/discretionarytopup where all the relevant documents will be available from that date. 

Applications will be taken up until 5:00pm on Wednesday 29 July with grant awards confirmed by Wednesday 12 August, 2020. 

For further details and questions email covidbusinessgrant@sthelens.gov.uk.

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