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NHDC awards over £1.3m in discretionary grants to local businesses

30 June 2020
Council Offices in Letchworth Garden City

PR Date: Tuesday, 30 June 2020 - 4:45pm

North Herts District Council (NHDC) has today announced that it will be paying out over £1.3 million in discretionary grants to over 200 small businesses in North Herts.

Discretionary grants were designed for businesses who have been financially impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic but were not eligible for previous government support schemes.

The Council’s intention was to help as many businesses as possible with the available funding. A total of 281 businesses applied, 213 qualified and NHDC has awarded funding to all of them.

Businesses that fall into the Government’s priority categories have been awarded £10,000. These are:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces
  • Regular market traders
  • Bed & Breakfasts that pay Council Tax
  • Charities that would have been eligible for Small Business Rate Relief

Businesses with premises have been awarded £5,000 and businesses based in a domestic property have been awarded £3,000.

Elizabeth Heale, Director of Heale’s Clinics LLP said: “Being awarded a Discretionary Business Grant of £5,000 will definitely help the survival of our Hitchin Chiropractic Clinic on Cambridge Road. We closed on 21st March, with no income at all until reopening again at the beginning of June. This money will help towards giving us the time we need to build our clinic up again in the months to come, hopefully securing our small business and the safety of our employees jobs, who have been so supportive at this time.”

Rothia Haywood, Director of Haywoods building maintenance firm in Hitchin, said: “As a small, family run business we are extremely grateful for the support made available to us through NHDCs discretionary grant scheme at this challenging time.”

Sean Burrows, owner of Cambridge Bouncy Castles, based in Royston, said: “Cambridge bouncy castles were thrilled to receive this grant from North Herts District Council. After being closed for 8 weeks in peak season due to Covid 19 it has been an extremely worrying time for us, and this grant will allow us to remain open whilst adhering to strict Covid 19 practices and ensuring our customers safety. Huge thanks to the council for this grant. We are available on or 07922 524783”. 

Richard Murphy Managing Director of Racebikebitz, based in Royston, said: “The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on our business has been helped greatly by the help and financial support of North Herts District Council. It’s reassuring to know we can rely on their help in these uncertain times.”

Cllr Keith Hoskins, NHDC’s Executive Member for Enterprise and Co-operative Development said: “We’re pleased we are now able to start making the discretionary fund payments to eligible businesses who found themselves unable to access the initial coronavirus cash grants.

“The scheme has provided the opportunity for more local businesses to receive grant support, particularly those with high property-related costs and who have struggled to trade during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Cllr Ian Albert, NHDC’s Executive Member for Finance said: “We’ll be issuing payments as quickly as possible and hope the grants will help to protect jobs and businesses at this difficult time.”

In addition to the £1.3million discretionary grants paid out to date, NHDC has also issued small business and retail, leisure and hospitality grants totalling £24.7 million to almost 2000 local businesses.

Applications for the discretionary fund closed on Friday 19 June. For more information on business support visit: