New grant to help businesses outside town centres with Covid-secure enhancements
Eligible businesses with premises located outside town centre boundaries can now apply for grants of up to £2,000 through the Covid-19 Revitalisation Recovery Programme, which has opened today.
This Programme is funded by the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), as part of a Northern Ireland wide response to Covid-19 which was announced in late July.
It will help deliver measures that provide a safer and more welcoming environment for visitors, shoppers and workers in business premises located outside town centres.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said:
“Businesses which are located outside town centre boundaries now have the welcome opportunity to apply for funding to help them put enhanced safety measures in place to allow them to operate in line with public health guidelines.
“I have been overwhelmed by the resilience of our local businesses to the many challenges that have emerged during the Covid-19 crisis, and by the efforts of all those who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of their customers and staff.
“I would encourage as many eligible businesses in our borough to familiarise themselves with this latest grant support scheme. Council’s Grants Team are on hand to offer advice and assistance with any queries, so please do get in touch.”
Edwin Poots MLA, DAERA Minister, commented:
“The impact of the pandemic on rural towns and villages as a retail destination has been unprecedented in recent decades.
“I am delighted that this additional tranche of funding is being used to deliver more medium term interventions which will provide a safe environment for visitors, shoppers and workers within villages and rural towns.
“It is very important that the Executive, in partnership with local councils, provides assistance to businesses and helps to revitalise our rural settlements at this time.”
Please note that businesses with premises located within town centre boundaries are not eligible to apply for this grant scheme.
Applications for grants can cover a wide variety of expenditure, including PPE equipment, internal social distancing measures, signage, contactless payment or app development for booking systems, upgrades to shop frontage, awnings/canopies, outdoor furniture, heaters, queueing systems, PA/tannoy systems and digital screens.
The opening of the grants scheme goes hand in hand with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s innovative #RediscoverMEA campaign, a key strand of which is aimed at encouraging citizens to support small businesses safely.
The scheme opens today, Thursday 5th November at 9am, and will run for just over four weeks closing on Monday 7th December, or earlier if the available funds are allocated. The budget is limited and funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.