Leeds City Council has distributed an additional £30 million to help businesses cope with the financial effects of COVID-19.
The council has already distributed around £170 million to thousands of businesses across the city since the start of the crisis last year.
Now, following the introduction of a new national lockdown, a further £30.2 million is landing in applicants’ bank accounts from today onwards.
Grants worth up to £1,500 per fortnight are on offer to ratepayers whose businesses were forced to close when lockdown kicked in on January 5.
An additional one-off payment for eligible ratepayers in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and covering the period from January 5 to February 16 is worth between £4,000 and £9,000, depending on the rateable value of their premises.
To simplify matters, the first three fortnightly instalments – covering the initial six weeks of the current lockdown – are being given out as a lump sum with the one-off payment.
Together, these account for nearly all of the £30.2 million being distributed this week, with a total of 4,221 grants having been approved.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “From the start of the pandemic, the council has made it clear that it will do everything in its power to help local businesses cope with the financial effects of the restrictions that have been put in place to save lives and protect the NHS.
“The last 10 months have been incredibly hard for our businesses and that’s why it is so important that these much-needed funds are going out this week.
“There may now be light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the continuing vaccine rollout programme, but the struggle is far from over. Businesses in Leeds can rest assured that we will continue to make every effort to get them through the crisis.”