LOCAL businesses forced to close by the national coronavirus lockdown can apply for funding to help them through the latest financial difficulties.

Bury has been allocated £3 million to distribute to eligible companies who pay business rates, covering the period from 5 November to 2 December.

Local Restrictions Support Grants provide financial help to businesses required to close during local and national lockdowns, including pubs, betting shops and soft play centres. The latest national lockdown affects non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues and personal care facilities.

To see if you are eligible for a grant, and to apply for one, go to the council’s website here: https://www.bury.gov.uk/covid19grants

Councillor David Jones, cabinet member for communities and emergency planning, said: “Many businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector and those classed as non-essential, have been severely hit by trading restrictions that stretch back to March.

“We need to do all we can to support our local companies who are facing unprecedented challenges. That’s why we have set up a special team to co-ordinate the national, regional and local responses to this emergency.”

The council is also drawing up plans to distribute a further £4 million of Additional Restrictions Grants, which can be paid tobusinesses which are severely affected by the lockdown rather than closed outright.

These could include town centre small businesses, market traders, taxi drivers and early years providers.

The council’s dedicated Bury Means Business team is here to help all businesses with advice and help during the pandemic: go to https://burymeansbusiness.bury.gov.uk/ for more details.