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Local businesses severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions can apply now for part of a £12 million pot to help them over the festive season and into the new year.

Buckinghamshire Council is launching a package of support measures to help bring relief to the local economy and support hard-hit businesses at what would have been their busiest time of year.

The council is distributing up to £12 million of government funding in three ways:

Approximately £4m will be distributed as part of the recurring support for businesses closed or severely impacted by the lockdown restrictions through the Bucks Local Restrictions Support Grant (Bucks LRSG).

For those businesses in receipt of the Bucks LRSG the council will provide an additional Bucks December Top-Up grant up to a 100% match of the Bucks LRSG amount.

For those businesses which are not eligible for the Bucks LRSG, but nonetheless are severely impacted, the council will offer support for December through the Bucks Additional Restrictions Grant.

In addition there is a one-off £1,000 Bucks Business Grant for wet-led pubs (pubs where more than 50% of sales come from alcohol rather than food).

Applications go live tonight and businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Processing of the applications will start on Monday 4 January.

Cllr Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: "Supporting the local economy is important to us at any time. However, I am particularly concerned at the impact the new Tier 4 restrictions will have for business now, in December, during what should be their most important trading period. If our businesses close permanently, we lose jobs, the taxes that fund our NHS, and also our high streets and town centres lose what makes them special.

"We have received funding from government to use at our discretion and we have allocated this money to support our local businesses and economy through our Bucks Business Grants. While we cannot fully compensate all businesses for the trade they have lost, we understand that this may be one of the most generous allocations for business in the country.

"Please do take a look at our website to see if you are eligible and to apply. As they are grants and not loans, they do not need to be repaid."

To check eligibility copy and paste the following into your browser:

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/coronavirus-business-grants/