A grant scheme set up to support small firms hit by the coronavirus crisis has been extended to take in other businesses.
Eligibility for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund is now open to small businesses which must prove they have lost money as a result of the pandemic.
Huntingdonshire District Council still has around £200,000 left in its coffers from the £1.6m pot provided by the government, having successfully allocated more than 80 per cent of the fund.
The grant scheme was originally open to charities, bed and breakfasts, market traders and operators of shared/serviced accommodation but now it has been extended to a wider array of small businesses.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, council leader, said: “We have already delivered a significant amount of financial support to local businesses through the initial discretionary grant scheme, which has been successful in offering vital support for some of those who fell outside of the government’s first tranche of business grants.
“We had to prioritise the four categories of businesses that were set out in government guidance. However, we appreciate that there are still businesses in Huntingdonshire who have so far not been able to benefit from any of the government grant schemes and so with a couple of weeks
of the scheme remaining and circa £200,000 left in the fund, we are now able to expand the eligibility criteria and help other small local businesses.”
The money will continue to be allocated on a first come, first saved basis with the aim of making sure the support is handed out as quickly as possible.
The council warned that the scheme was scheduled to close on July 31 and that it expected the remaining money would be allocated very quickly.
It said the scheme would be suspended when the pot was empty but that outstanding applications would be held on a reserve list to be dealt with if further funding becomes available.
Full details of the expanded scheme are available at www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/discretionarygrant.