Glasgow City Council is to make over £11million discretionary funding available to businesses in the city affected by restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic.
This is the second phase of such discretionary funding made available in 2021, following the launch of the Covid Business Hardship Fund on 5 February – which ran until 26 February – and the Scottish Government has allocated a further £10,378,647 of funding.
There remains an underspend in the Covid Business Hardship Fund, with the projected underspend between £800,000 – £1million. 1,409 applications were received, with more than 600 processed for payment and a similar number currently being processed.
Much of this discretionary funding will be directed to support city centre businesses who face challenges from not only reduced footfall levels due to restrictions but also higher overhead costs than businesses elsewhere in Glasgow.
To address these particular challenges, a targeted, place-based grant programme, with a tiered payment made based on Rateable Value for businesses operating in the city centre, and in receipt of the Strategic Framework Fund, will be put in place to ensure those businesses operating within the hospitality, leisure and service based sectors receive additional, one-off support in recognition of the continued uncertainty around when travel restrictions will begin to ease.
For businesses outwith the city centre who continue to be affected by restrictions, and who applied for the first phase of this discretionary fund due to ineligibility for other government funds, a one-off top-up payment of £2,000 will be made available.
The Covid Business Hardship Fund will reopen on 29 March, in recognition that there may be businesses falling through the cracks of the various Scottish Government business support schemes, and it is proposed that the remaining amount of discretionary grant and any underspend from phase 1 of the scheme is made available until such time as it is fully spent.
The top-up payments will commence after 1 April.