£4.2million is being paid to 534 East Lothian businesses in January as East Lothian Council teams have been working flat out to process applications and payments for Business Temporary Closure Grants.
Since East Lothian, as with all of mainland Scotland, went into Protection Level 4 as of Boxing Day, businesses legally required to close under the new regulations were eligible to apply for the closure grants under the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework Business Fund.
Eligible businesses will receive £2-3,000 every four weeks of enforced closure, depending on their size, with organisations with multiple premises receiving a maximum of £15k every four weeks. In addition, the government announced on 11th January that a retail, hospitality and leisure top-up grant involving a one-off payment for eligible businesses of between, £6k and £25k would also be assigned to businesses by their rateable value. The top up grant will be also be included in these payments.
Council teams have also been contacting taxi drivers who may qualify for the new Taxi Private Hire Driver Support Fund one-off payment of £1.5k.
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development said: “A massive ‘thank you’ to all council staff who have been dealing with processing applications for these grants. It is essential that this support is available to help our valued local businesses survive so that they can keep trading as we move through the phases of this pandemic and into the recovery phase. It’s been an enormous task to get these applications processed and payments set up within a very tight timescale. Although these first payments have been made it’s certainly not too late for any businesses that haven’t yet applied. For full details of the criteria and how to apply are on our web page.
“This page is kept up to date with not just details of the Strategic Framework Business Fund Grants and the Taxi Private Hire Driver Support Fund but all other grant and loan funds available to all types of businesses, charities, community groups and the self-employed.”
Details of the council’s Discretionary Support Fund will be announced soon, which is being designed to help those businesses and individuals that do not meet the criteria to apply for existing funding streams.