More hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains in the Liverpool City Region are set to benefit from a new £9.5 million COVID support fund.
Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the fund will be open to small and micro businesses – including some of those excluded from national support schemes like the self-employed, sole traders or home-based and their supply chains – in the, hospitality and leisure sectors.
There will also be support for businesses in non-essential retail.
The funding is the latest round of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s £40 million COVID emergency fund which was first announced when the City Region was placed in increased Covid-19 restrictions in October.
Businesses based in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral are eligible for support from the new £9.5m fund.
As well as expanding eligibility to some of those businesses excluded from national support schemes, local supply chain businesses in the sector are now also eligible for the first time.
The announcement comes as political leaders from across the North and London step up pressure on the Government to address the needs of the 3 million people still excluded from national Covid-19 support packages.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, on behalf of the LCR Council Leaders and Mayors, said:
“We are doing everything we can to protect as many local jobs and businesses as possible, who are under threat from the impact of Coronavirus.
“This latest round of local funding will be open to the sorts of small and micro businesses that have so far had to get by without any help from national government. Thousands of people depend on these businesses for their livelihoods and they are at the very heart of our communities.
“However, we remain deeply frustrated that, although we can now provide support for more businesses in the, hospitality and leisure sectors locally, we still do not have all the funds we need to support everyone excluded from national support schemes.
“It defies belief that almost 3 million hard-working people – childminders, booksellers, accountants, entertainers and many, many more – have been left without support since this pandemic started. These small business owners, freelancers and the self-employed showed the entrepreneurial spirit the Government so often calls for yet, when they need support most, the Government has not been there for them.
“So today we are calling on the Chancellor to right the injustice done to the 3 million excluded from support, when he delivers his spending review tomorrow.”
Detailed information on eligibility and the applications process will be released later this week via the six city region Local Authorities.