There has been an unprecedented demand from businesses in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area for support offered through the Covid-19 Business Recovery & Revitalisation Grant Scheme.
Funding for the scheme was awarded to local councils by the Department for Communities for urban town centres and by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for smaller rural settlements, with a collective aim to support the economic recovery and revitalisation of local businesses across Northern Ireland.
The first tranche of the grant scheme provides assistance to local businesses to address some of the operational challenges they are facing, and assist them to adapt to and implement social distancing measures to protect staff and customers. Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council received £145,000 for a capital grant scheme to businesses in rural areas, and £545,000 for grants in the urban areas, for which they received in excess of 1,000 applications.
Lord Mayor for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said;
“The huge demand for assistance received by council demonstrates an urgent need for greater financial support for our local businesses at this time. Our Borough businesses are facing an enormously challenging future, and it has never been more important that our residents support local traders to help them maintain a sustainably viable future.
“Due to the large volume of applications to council the grants assessment process took a considerable period to implement to ensure a robust advisory and assessment process was carried out.
“I am delighted that many businesses will be boosted by the awarding of funds, and it is also unfortunate that in this initial round not all business applications could be supported at this time. However, I want to assure the business community Council is continuing to proactively seek additional grant supports from the Northern Ireland Executive.”
The allocation of this capital grant across borough businesses will have a significant positive impact, enabling many traders to adapt their business model to comply with covid-19 restrictions, repurpose accommodation spaces, diversify their delivery model and continue to trade in a safe and commercially sustainable manner.
With all the efforts that businesses are making to strive to continue to trade during these uncertain times, it is hoped that residents will help them in their endeavors by shopping within their local communities to boost the borough economy at this time.