St Albans businesses receive grants to help with coronavirus impact

The Portland Arms in St Albans. Picture: Google Street View

The Portland Arms in St Albans. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Grants totalling £14.5 million have been distributed to St Albans businesses to help them through the Covid-19 public health emergency.

St Albans district council identified companies that qualified for the money earlier this month.

So far 950 businesses have benefited with a further £9 million due to be issued shortly to around 500 other firms.

Grants of £25,000 are being given to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors that have a property with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.

Businesses from those sectors with a property rated at up to £15,000 are receiving £10,000.

The money is non-repayable and has been provided by the government in order to help companies survive the impact of the lockdown.

In a further initiative to help local business, the council is supporting restaurants, pubs or offices that have turned into a shop selling food and essential items during the crisis.

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The council is also allowing community hubs where vulnerable people can obtain essential supplies to be set up. Stalls will be permitted at sites such as pub car parks or beside shopping parades.

Businesses which might be interested in applying for a temporary licence to create a hub for their community have been approached

The Portland Arms is due to launch the first Community Pub Hub shortly and The Mermaid and The Great Northern are also planning to set up a hub.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, portfolio holder for business, culture and tourism, said: “Many of our local businesses are facing a fight for survival and we are committed to helping them in every way we can.

“We are distributing the Government’s much-needed grants as quickly and efficiently as possible with in excess of 1,500 local businesses due to benefit from this financial boost.

“We’re also helping pubs and restaurants which have been forced to shut to temporarily change their use to shops.

“Our imaginative community hub scheme may support neighbourhoods right across the St Albans area.

“We’re hoping that businesses will take advantage of this as it will help them get through this crisis and help residents who might otherwise have difficulty accessing essential supplies.”