Wyre Council has opened a third round of its Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to help even more local businesses affected by the pandemic.

Businesses who have found they have not been eligible for other rounds of funding are encouraged to look at the criteria for the new discretionary scheme, which is aimed predominantly at the retail, leisure, hospitality and event sectors.

Eligibility criteria for the ARG scheme has been expanded to include Wyre businesses with or without rateable premises that have been severely negatively impacted by COVID restrictions, but not necessarily required to close. Examples include mobile workers who have been forced to cease trading under lockdown restrictions such as driving instructors or hairdressers/beauticians, and home based businesses such as education/tuition companies and home based travel agents that can demonstrate a significant loss in income.

Businesses that occupy premises, but do not have a business rates account, may also now apply if they have been required to close.

The scheme also hopes to give Wyre’s high streets a boost by providing the opportunity for businesses locating to or expanding into vacant premises the chance to apply for up £25,000 of funding. Those moving to vacant premises in any of Wyre’s towns or larger village centres or Fleetwood Market that offer an in-person service generating footfall are encouraged to apply.

So far, Wyre Council has made over £47million in grant payments to 1,000s of businesses over the past 12 months and has recently allocated £300,000 for a new Town Centre Strategy Fund to help support business recovery in key economic centres in the borough.

Clare James, Corporate Director Resources at Wyre Council comments, “The council recognises that some businesses have fallen outside of the scope of the mandatory business grant schemes and we are keen to support as many of those as possible using our discretionary business grants scheme.

“For this third round of applications we have widened the eligibility criteria even more to allow home based businesses to apply and a separate scheme is being launched to encourage businesses to expand or relocate onto our high streets. Grants of up to £25,000 are available so please take the opportunity to apply and together we can help to restart Wyre’s economy in 2021.”

To find out more and to make an application go to www.wyre.gov.uk/businessupport

Applications for the ARG must be made by 5pm on 14 May 2021.