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'Traders need more help' says Torquay chamber

A view of Torquay's town centre

The chair of the Torquay Chamber of Commerce says members need more support to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Susie Colley says some businesses have been able to claim rental relief in Teignbridge and wants to see a similar service in Torbay.

She is also calling on the council to publish guidance to help members apply for a £2.25 million discretionary support fund.

Teignbridge Council says its rent deferral support scheme details can be found here

Torbay Council's support page for business can be found here

For more about the Torquay Chamber of Commerce click here


Torbay Council update on support packages available (20-05 PM)

Discretionary grants are the latest set of financial measures from the Government aimed at businesses not eligible under the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund (though a wide range of small businesses will also be able to apply for these, not just those in leisure or hospitality industry).

The online process for the first set of applications opens on Thursday 21 May 2020 at 8am. As there are limited funds applications will initially be open until 7 June 2020.

The new grants are designed for small businesses trading on 11 March 2020. The grants range from £1,000 to 25,000 per business.

The grants do not need to be repaid back to Torbay Council and businesses who have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are also eligible to apply.

This grant funding is aimed at those businesses who have been adversely affected by Coronavirus and broadly fall into the categories outlined below:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
  • Businesses operating in the Visitor Economy (i.e. Tourism & Hospitality) and the supply chain of this industry.

In addition to these categories, the initial phase of funding will include businesses operating within the visitor economy that did not receive grants under the previous schemes. These businesses are recognised as being adversely affected by Coronavirus, but who bear overhead costs relating to premises and employees.

Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “This new tranche of Government grants is welcomed for those businesses who were not eligible under the previous grant allocation. This recognises businesses who fall outside the initial funding criteria during the Coronavirus crisis, with a clear focus around our local economy.”

It is hoped that those businesses who have not benefitted from Government financial support already, will now do so under this additional funding. However, these businesses will be required to demonstrate a significant fall in income with ongoing, fixed property related costs.

In accordance with Government guidance and in consultation with Devon wide local authorities, the levels of grant allocation has been agreed to provide equity to businesses across the region.

Not all businesses will be eligible for the funding, as many industry specific sectors have already received Coronavirus financial grants.

To find out more detail regarding the grants and to find the online application form visit our Support for Businesses page.  

Applications are invited from 21 May to 7 June 2020 from tourism led businesses based in Torbay which fall into the criteria outlined above.

The number of businesses that could apply for the grants is expected to outstrip the funding allocated. Businesses are encouraged to fill in the online form to apply for the grants before 7 June 2020.

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