The expanded scheme now includes the provision of grants of £10,000 for independent businesses such as pubs, restaurants, music venues and late-opening cafés.
Applications for the Night-Time Economy grants should be submitted no later than 10 August. The criteria for these funds includes:
- Independently run pubs, wine bars, nightclubs and music venues, cafés, cinemas, theatres, bingo halls, restaurants, casinos, and food halls/courts
- Properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000
- Applicants must be trading, the rate payer and occupying business
- Businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes and are offered on the basis of one grant per business not per property
- Businesses that are responsible for all business costs and therefore excludes national chains and franchises
Sheffield City Council cabinet member for business and investment Mazher Iqbal said: “In meeting with representatives of our city’s night-time economy in recent weeks and months the scale of the challenge they face has really come in to focus."
He added: “Those that can now open have faced significant costs in introducing social distancing measures and ways of working, which have had real impact on their capacity to accommodate customers.
“We have appreciated the specific concerns they have raised and have therefore decided to ensure part of the discretionary grant funding we have access to is made available to those businesses that bring our city centre and districts to life in the evenings.
“Of course, we would like to do more for these businesses and others across the city but we are unfortunately constrained by the limited funding by the Government.
“I hope this will go some way to help ensure our vibrant night-time economy remains available for all to enjoy. “Applications for this scheme are only open for two weeks, so I’m encouraging all businesses eligible for the grant to apply as soon as possible via the Sheffield City Council website."
Iqbal said: “I would also want to remind all other businesses in the city to check the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Business Grants Scheme. “Funding is still available to support eligible businesses but we are aware that Government will soon be expecting all schemes to be closed and we would not want any businesses to miss out just because of a late application.”
Owner of night club and live music venue Corporation and board member of the Unight night-time economy group Mark Hobson welcomed the extension of the grants and called on other councils to do the same.
He added: “On behalf of the Unight group and all those businesses in Sheffield who have fallen foul of the £51,000 rateable value cap rule, I am really pleased the council has listened to our calls to remove this barrier and extend assistance to all our local night-time economy.
“We would like to take this opportunity to urge other councils to follow Sheffield’s example as the majority of these venues still remain closed and unable to operate. This swift lifeline could save many from permanent closure.”