New coronavirus funds to help support struggling businesses

self employed person working from home

A discretionary grant fund has been launched by Enfield Council for those who have been unable to secure any financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Enfield Council will be directing its efforts towards helping small and medium sized businesses who have not benefited from the government’s previous support schemes, including freelancers, home-based businesses and the self-employed.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Cllr Mary Maguire, said: “A large proportion of Enfield’s businesses fall in the small or medium-sized category (SMEs). In addition, around 32,000 adults in Enfield describe themselves as self-employed. Some of these people, who make enormous contributions to the local economy, have not qualified for financial assistance. For many businesses, furlough and business loan guarantees have not been sufficient. This is why Enfield Council has designed the allocation of the fund to reach those who might otherwise have been forgotten.”

Funding will come from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and is aimed at those businesses which have been legally forced to close but are outside of the business rates system, or businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.

Enfield Council has been awarded £9.6 million which includes an initial £6 million for this phase of the ARG. Separately, the Council has in recent weeks distributed Restart Grants totaling nearly £8.3 million to 1,290 Enfield businesses.

Cllr Maguire added: “These wider support schemes are being designed to aid the local economy and create jobs and sustainable growth. Driven by our Economic Development Strategy and the Council Plan, we want this funding to help revitalise town centres, encourage entrepreneurship and support cultural initiatives which together will help to build a stronger economic recovery for the borough.”

Phase 2 of ARG will be open for applications for a three-week window, closing on 6 June 2021.

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