A NEW grant has been launched to help businesses cope with some of the extra costs from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched The Cheshire & Warrington Recovery & Restructure Grant with grants of up to 80 per cent to a maximum of £5,000 (or up to 60 per cent on items bought between the start of May and July 23) to support eligible Cheshire and Warrington businesses.

The grants are open to trading small and medium enterprises, social enterprises, charities or sole traders based in the Cheshire or Warrington LEP area. To be eligible, businesses need to have been trading for 12 months.

Around 50 per cent of the funding is being directed towards the region’s hard hit visitor economy The balance will be paid to SMEs in the wider economy.

There are two strands to the programme – capital items and consultancy cost. The grant can, for instance, pay towards capital items businesses may need to recover or restructure their business to trade through the outbreak.

Examples of the support includes:

  •  IT equipment, e.g. Tablet & Contact payment systems, ICT equipment to support homeworking
  • Fixed PPE equipment e.g. plastics screens & sanitiser dispensers
  • Building alterations e.g. creation of one-way systems, building of outdoor seating, serving hatches etc.

Consultancy grants will help business to bring in external expertise to support their entry into new markets, engaging new customers or improving efficiency, for example through re-branding or promotional campaigns, market research or improving their online presence.