Extra support for Covid-hit Ipswich businesses proposed

Published4th January 2021

Ipswich’s pubs, restaurants and town centre retailers, hit hard by Covid-19, are to be given significant extra help, Ipswich Borough Council has announced.

During 2020, Ipswich Borough Councildistributed millions of pounds of business grants using funding from the Government to businesses whose trade have been affected by the Government’s Covid restrictions.

Next week (12 January 2021) the Council’s Executive will consider a report that proposes to distribute more funding to provide additional support to businesses. (link below)

The report on Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding that is being considered next week will – if it is agreed – include a series of measures that would ensure that:

(i)        All 60+ public houses in Ipswich Borough each receive £25,000 (at £5,000 per month) for the period from November 2020 to 31 March 2021 – subject to state aid rules being met in each case and income reductions being greater than the grant received in each case.

(ii)       A similar scheme for other hospitality and leisure businesses (e.g. restaurants) is also introduced - subject to a maximum spend of £300,000 (to cover the period from November 2020 to 31 March 2021). The £300,000 ‘cap’ could mean that the amount per business per month will be less than the £5,000 for public houses – a lower amount is considered appropriate due to the greater potential, in most cases, for these types of business to maintain nearer to normal income levels (e.g. via take-aways) than is the case for public houses. Additional grants may also be available for these businesses from other sources (see https://www.ipswich.gov.uk/businessratesgrant);

(iii)      A new scheme is introduced to support independent town centre retailers – again subject to a maximum spend of £300,000 (to cover the period from November 2020 to 31March 2021). It is intended to design this scheme in collaboration with the independent retail sector.

All of the above grants would be in addition to grants that were issued in the first ten months of 2020.

Grants will also be available to other types of business that are being significantly affected by Covid-19 restrictions (as long as Ipswich remains in Tier 2, 3 or 4).

Leader of the Council, Councillor David Ellesmere, said:

“We know that our pubs and our hospitality sector are being hugely impacted by the restrictions brought about by Covid-19. Our new scheme is intended to directly support them and provide them with certainty around the level of support they will receive over the next couple of months. We’re also looking forward to working with small retailers in the town centre to design a scheme which will give them the support they need.”

  • For further information see: Executive Meeting Agenda.12 January 2021: Item 6: Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) (Pages 25 - 44)
  • The Council is operating a series of grant schemes and all the relevant information can be found online at: https://www.ipswich.gov.uk/businessratesgrant.