WITH the announcement that lockdown for most businesses will continue until at least April 12, businesses in Cornwall are being told that new money will be available to help them through the extended lockdown period.

Non-essential retail, leisure, tourism, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses can all apply for the extended Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme which will be made available to Cornwall Council during the week of March 1

The Government has confirmed it would extend the LRSG scheme to cover the lockdown period and Cornwall Council says it will make payments as soon as they receive this funding. They will also provide updates on this page and on our social media accounts.

At the beginning of February, struggling businesses in Cornwall were told they may only get half the grant cash they're entitled to after demand outstripped the money available.

Cornwall Council, said it had seen a surge of applications for the latest Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme that had outstripped available funds by more than £14.5 million.

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Businesses were told it would take six weeks to assess who would get the money, which would be only 50% of what they were expecting and some businesses would get no money at all. Many employers were left facing the prospect of having to let staff go because they were depending on the cash and could not afford to wait to see whether they would get any money or not.

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At a media briefing this morning the leader of Cornwall Council Julian German urged businesses to continue to lobby their MPs to get more money for the grant in the government’s budget on March 3.

"We have been, with support from the Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses and many other business organisations in Cornwall lobbying government for that," he said. "We don’t have the ability to find that resource, Government do. So please lobby your MP for that.

"We’re around 20th out of 317 authorities in the country that have additional restrictions grant for getting the most by percentage of amount that we were given out.

“There are many small borough councils within those 317, but I am proud to say as a large unitary authority we’re in the top 20 of that league table and we have got over 40% of our additional restrictions grant money out.

“It is, I am sure, frustrating to businesses that’s it not quicker but we are going to meet that six week deadline, so I am pleased that we are getting that out speedily and in comparison to the vast majority of authorities in the country, much quicker than others.”

Businesses will receive a payment to cover the 44 day period between February 16 and 31 March 31. As the restrictions are set to continue beyond this date the council says it expects to receive further information about the grants from April 1 onwards.

Payments will be made as follows:

  • Businesses with rateable value up to £15k - £2096
  • Businesses with rateable value between £15,001 and £51k - £3143
  • Businesses with rateable value of £51k or more - £4714

The closed business lockdown payment was a one-off payment made for the period from January 5. It will not be paid again for the extended restriction period from 16 February.

The council will make payments to businesses that have received a payment from the LRSG covering the lockdown from 8 January.

They only need to apply for the LRSG if you have not yet applied for the grant covering either the November lockdown or current lockdown period