Financial support extended to cover more businesses in Darlington

First published: Friday 12 Feb 2021

Dog walkers, mobile hairdressers and others will be amongst the Darlington based businesses who will now be eligible for financial help as Darlington Borough Council expands the eligibility criteria for its covid-19 business support packages.

In addition, the Council has introduced new one-off payments of £500 for self-employed licensed taxi-drivers, registered childcare providers and approved driving instructors.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the council has administered almost £33m of grant payments to help local businesses survive the impact of successive lockdowns. Hundreds of local businesses have benefitted from this support. However, not all business owners qualified for the first rounds of funding.

With this in mind, the council has reviewed the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant scheme to support local business during the national lockdown restrictions and beyond.

Following the review, the eligibility criteria for this discretionary grant has now been expanded to allow more businesses to access financial support. Home-based and mobile businesses who meet the new criteria, will now be able to access support.  The additional business sectors now eligible include:

•           Garage Services – repair and maintenance of motor vehicles

•           Children’s nurseries

•           Pet Welfare Support Services – such as boarding, day-care, walking and grooming

•           Live Event Support Services

•           Wedding Support Services, including photographers & videographers

Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:

“This is brilliant news for business owners who, for various reasons, did not qualify for the first rounds of grants and support on offer. In many cases, we have been directed by national guidelines as to who could qualify for the range of grants and support available.

“We have listened to those businesses who did not qualify for support and taken their concerns on board. This new, expanded criteria will allow many of those who couldn’t access earlier help, to get the support they need to continue to trade.”

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy, added:

“Our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure grants and support were administered as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am delighted that even more local businesses will be able to access the help they need to continue to survive these difficult times.

“We are already receiving a high number of applications for the revised scheme and these are being processed as quickly as possible. I urge any business who thinks they may be eligible to ensure they meet the criteria before making an application and allow time for it to be assessed.

“Alongside financial support, there is a wealth of additional help on offer through free online training as well as help with marketing and promotions through our #LoveDarlo Facebook page and Enjoy Darlington website.”

Applications are now open for the new scheme with further details at:

www.Darlington.gov.uk/ additional-restrictions-grant/

Any business that has previously submitted an application will automatically be re-assessed against the extended eligibility criteria, so there is no need for those businesses to re-submit an application.

The scheme will close once the national lockdown restrictions end.

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