As part of the second round of the Coronavirus Business Grants Scheme, Sheffield City Council has now opened applications for larger independent business who operate in the City’s night time economy. Recognising how severely this sector has been hit by lock down and social distancing over the past four months the Council has listened to the representatives of the sector and broadened the eligibility criteria to help support these businesses that have missed out so far.

The expanded scheme now includes provision of grants of £10,000 for those independent businesses such as restaurants, music venues, pubs and late opening cafes. Applications for the Night Time Economy grants should be submitted no later than 10th August. In addition to this expansion, the criteria of the second round of the Business Grant Scheme has been updated to allow applications from businesses whose Rateable Value is between £15,000 and £25,000, irrespective the actual rental cost.

The independent Night Time Economy criteria is as follows:

  • Independently run restaurants, Night clubs and music venues, public houses, cafes, cinemas, theatres, wine bars, casinos, bingo halls, food halls/courts
  • Properties with a Rateable value above £51,000
  • Applicants must be trading, the rate payer and occupying business
  • Businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes and is offered on the basis of one grant per business not per property
  • Businesses that are responsible for all the business costs and therefore excludes national chains and franchises

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said:

“In meeting with representatives of our city’s night time economy in recent weeks and months the scale of the challenge they face has really come in to focus. Those that can now open have faced significant costs in introducing social distancing measures and ways of working which have had real impact on their capacity to accommodate customers.  We have appreciated the specific concerns they have raised and have therefore decided to ensure that part of the discretionary grant funding we have access to is made available to those businesses that bring our city centre and districts to life in the evenings.

“Of course we would like to do more for these businesses and others across the city but we are unfortunately constrained by the limited funding from Government. I hope that this will go some way to help ensure our vibrant night time economy remains available for all to enjoy.

“Applications for this scheme are only open for two weeks, so I’m encouraging all businesses eligible for the grant to apply as soon as possible via the Sheffield City Council website.

“I would also want to remind all other businesses in the city to check the eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Business Grants Scheme. Funding is still available to support eligible businesses but we are aware that Government will soon be expecting all schemes to be closed and we would not want any businesses to miss out just because of a late application.

Mark Hobson, owner of Corporation night club and live music venue and board member of the Unight night time economy group, said

“On behalf of the Unight group and all of those businesses in Sheffield who have fallen foul of the £51k RV cap rule, I am really pleased that the Council have listened to our calls to remove this barrier and extend assistance to all of our local night time economy.

We would like to take this opportunity to urge other councils to follow Sheffield’s example as the majority of these venues still remain closed and unable to operate. This swift lifeline could save many from permanent closure.

Full details and how to apply can be found at www.sheffield.gov.uk/nighttimeeconomy.

For all other Business Support Grant Scheme (discretionary) information and how to apply businesses should go to www.sheffield.gov.uk/discretionarygrants.  Businesses who were not eligible in round one of applications that are now eligible in the second round because of the broadened criteria will need to reapply.  The Council is contacting these businesses directly to advise them of this.

Businesses can also contact Business Sheffield on 0114 224 5000 or email businesssheffield@sheffield.gov.uk for further guidance and to speak to a Business Advisor.