South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council have received 1,914 applications for the Local Restrictions Business Grant (LRSG) since the scheme opened last week on 16 November 2020. 529 applications have been processed so far, with the teams at the councils working through the weekend to ensure this financial lifeline for local businesses reaches bank accounts as quickly as possible. The first payments have now been received.
The grant is available to businesses in South Hams and West Devon who were ordered to close when the national restrictions began on 5 November. Grants are worth up to £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the business.
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council said: "It's been a testing year for our local businesses and we know just how important this grant is. It was our priority to get this scheme up and running fast and the team has worked hard all week and over the weekend to ensure payments can be made as quickly as possible. I'm pleased to say that some payments have already been made. If you are waiting for your payment, please be reassured that we are working on this as fast as we can."
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council added: "We understand just how much pressure our local business owners are under at the moment and we're committed to doing what we can to help. It was really important to us to that we got our system up and running quickly and made it as easy as possible for business owners to apply. We're proud that we managed this in just a few days and feedback shows 80% of those applying are happy or very happy with the ease of the process."
There have been 597 applications from West Devon and 1,317 from businesses in the South Hams. Of the 529 applications approved so far, 202 are from West Devon totalling £209,400. 327 applications from the South Hams, worth £408,796 have already been paid.
The LRSG scheme is still open to all eligible businesses affected by the current set of national restrictions. Businesses can apply for the grant through the council's website - www.southhams.gov.uk or www.westdevon.gov.uk
Once approved the grant will provide those eligible businesses with a rolling 28-day grant, lasting as long as the National Restrictions apply.
When applying for the grant, businesses will need a number of documents. These include:
Valerie Davenport, who owns Kaleidoscope Toys in Tavistock, commented: "West Devon have yet again proved to be helping local business. The grant process was quick and very easy to use and we received notice that our application was successful within the week."
Adam Sherring, who owns Habit in Kingsbridge, told us: "Conditions on the High Street were tough enough even before the pandemic and any support now is massively welcome. It was a relief that it was straightforward to apply for this grant. Even better, the money is already in the bank, which will really help us as we aim to reopen as soon as guidelines allow it."
A full list of all of the businesses that were instructed to close and those on the exemption list can be found on the Government's business advice pages.
If a business (included in the list) is substantially closed but still able to offer some click and collect or take-away service, they ARE still eligible for this business support grant.