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£1 MILLION extra in COVID support grants FOR CHESHIRE & WARRINGTON SMALL BUSINESSES

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Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is launching a second £1 million grant programme to help small businesses meet some of the extra costs created by the COVID restrictions.

 The new funding package follows the £1.1 million announced in August and is designed to help businesses to find innovative ways of working within the new three-tier Local Covid Alert Levels.

Businesses will be eligible to apply for capital grants to invest in new ideas that boost revenue or help to increase customer confidence by further increasing their levels of Covid-security. Applicants will also have to demonstrate that their business has been adversely affected by the new system of Covid restrictions and how the grant will help to mitigate the financial losses.

This could include investment to offset lost sales – such as establishing online delivery, digital ordering systems and building alterations to create one-way systems, outdoor seating and serving hatches.  Funding can also cover new IT equipment such as tablet and contactless payment systems and fixed PPE equipment such as plastics screens and sanitiser dispensers are also eligible.

The Cheshire & Warrington COVID support grant can offer funding up to 80% to a maximum of £5,000, with the applicant contributing the remaining 20%.

The grants are open to trading small and medium enterprises, social enterprises, charities based in the Cheshire or Warrington LEP area. To be eligible, businesses need to have been trading for at least 12 months.

The grants cannot pay for day-to-day running costs, servicing debt or towards cash flow. Other Government programmes are available to help with these issues.

The project is being managed by Blue Orchid Enterprise Solutions on behalf of the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.

Clare Hayward MBE DL, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP said:We understand how challenging the COVID restrictions are for business and these new grants are part of our on-going efforts to help.  We need to protect jobs and support companies across the board – but we are especially mindful of hard hit sectors such as the high street, tourism and hospitality. We are also making these investments because we want to underline the message that people can still enjoy going out locally while remaining within the restrictions and staying safe.”

To apply, please visit the Blue Orchid website https://blueorchid.co.uk/cheshire-warrington-restructure-grant/

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