Pubs, clubs, restaurants and leisure businesses are being encouraged by the council to apply for a £10,000 grant to help boost the borough’s night-time economy.
But hurry: the money won’t go far.
Croydon has received £500,000 from the government under its “Evening and Night-time Economy Grant”, and the council is distributing the cash in 10-grand wedges to 50 businesses on a first-come, first-served basis.
Which is probably easier for the council to administer, but may not be the best way of ensuring the cash gets to those covid-hit businesses in greatest need. Hey ho, welcome to Labour-run Croydon in 2021…
“The new grant applies to businesses including pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels with a bar or restaurant, sports clubs, theatres and independent cinemas,” the council says.
To qualify for the new grant, businesses must pay a monthly mortgage or rent on physical trading premises in Croydon; need to have been trading on January 5 2021 (even if they could not be open); and will need to prove that their premises would be open to paying customers at 9pm at least five days a week outside the pandemic.
“It is a grant, not a loan, so it does not need to be paid back,” the council announcement states in that particularly patronising tone which assumes that all residents are idiots.
The council has promised to pay all grants to successful applicants within 28 days of receiving their application. This would be a breakthrough, given the council’s bungled and delayed distribution of lockdown business grants last year.
“Businesses that have received funding from either last autumn’s first phase of the Additional Restrictions Grant schemes or the current Phase 2 can still apply for this latest grant if they are eligible,” the council says.
“Businesses can also apply even if they have received funding from any of the Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes.
Manju Shahul-Hameed, the council cabinet member who presided over last year’s omnishambles business grant distribution, said, “I hope eligible businesses apply for this new grant.” Which is nice.
Business owners who need extra support and advice can also email the council at firstname.lastname@example.org
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