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Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme extended by Highland Council to allow more businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions from the region to apply after extra funds were made available to support a wider range of Caithness firms and offer a higher level of funding than originally expected


By Ian Duncan

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Highland Council.
Highland Council.

Highland Council has today reopened the Discretionary Grant fund to allow more businesses to apply to the scheme.

Having seen the number of applications received and the fact that extra money was made available to the council the grant scheme can now support a wider range of businesses and offer a higher level of grant than originally anticipated.

Businesses now have until 5pm on Friday, April 9, to apply for a grant.

Andy McCann, the council’s economy and regeneration manager, said: “When we first launched the grant scheme we were unsure how many businesses would apply so initially planned to award a grant of up to £2,000 to all qualifying businesses.

“Based on the number of applications and extra funding received we are now able to give grants to all eligible applicants of up to £4,000.

“The grant scheme remains focused on supporting those businesses who have, for whatever reason, fallen through the funding gaps and who have experienced a reduction in trade. The extra funding available has allowed Highland Council to award grants to those businesses that have seen a reduction in trade of 10 per cent or more due to Covid-19 restrictions.”

The council urges all affected businesses to go to its website, take 15 minutes to read the guidance and, if they consider themselves to be eligible, to gather the bank and business evidence required and to apply using the online form.

Mr McCann said: “As this is now a larger grant scheme to administer, we ask that applicants bear with us as we process their applications and get payment out to them. We know how desperate businesses are for the funds and we will endeavour to get this money to eligible businesses as quickly as we can. Businesses can help us to do this by ensuring they get their application right first time and give us all the information we need.”


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