1,769 reopening businesses in Stoke-on-Trent share £11.5 million in grants


Hundreds of reopening businesses have received £11.5 million in Government funding to help them bounce back from the lockdown.

A total of 1,769 businesses in Stoke-on-Trent, including pubs, hairdressers and non-essential shops, have been handed the Restart Grants following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council was allocated £12.1 million under the scheme at the start of this month, and the authority has already passed most of this on to eligible shops and venues.

Non-essential shops can receive one-off payments of between £2,667 and £6,000, depending on rateable value.

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym premises are eligible for grants of between £8,000 and £18,000.

All businesses in the city which have successfully applied for a Local Restrictions Support Grant have been automatically assessed for the new payments, with no need to complete another form.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “We are really pleased to be offering another grant scheme to our local businesses to help them reopen and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now that non-essential businesses are able to reopen with Covid-secure measures in place, it’s so important that they are supported to reopen their doors. Many of our local businesses have been sorely missed and we want to see them start to thrive again.

“If you’re a business and have received a Local Restrictions Grant payment, you will automatically be assessed for the Restart Grant, and so there is no need to complete any additional forms.

“Our teams are working quickly to get the money distributed, and made £11.5 million worth of payments on Friday alone. This means that 1,769 businesses will immediately be able to benefit from the funding, and more will receive their payments soon.

“As we continue on the road to recovery from this dreadful virus, it is more important than ever that we try and shop locally where we can and boost our local economy.”

Josef Bailey, owner of The Quarter venues in Hanley and Stoke, received two £8,000 grants under the scheme.

He is grateful for the support, but says the grants should have been paid out to businesses ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions on April 12.

Mr Bailey said: “The Government support is very welcome, especially for hospitality venues which have been forced to stay closed for five months.

“But the name of the scheme is ‘Restart Grants’, so ideally we would have had the money before we reopened on April 12.



The Quarter @ Potbank

“One of our biggest expenses was restocking the bars at both sites, and then there is staff training and things like food and napkins. It would have been better to have the grant funding sooner so we could have used it on those things.”

Newcastle Borough Council was allocated £5.49 million under the Restart Grant scheme, while Staffordshire Moorlands District Council received £7.3 million.

The Government urged local authorities to pay out the grants as quickly as possible in order to help businesses recover from the lockdown.



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Non-essential retail, hairdressers and barbers, and hospitality venues with outdoor seating have been allowed to reopen since April 12.

The next step of the roadmap out of lockdown is set to come on May 17, when indoor hospitality, cinemas and hotels will be permitted to reopen.

Stoke-on-Trent businesses can find more information about the Restart Grant scheme at https://www.stoke.gov.uk/businessgrants

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