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The Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet Grants Panel met on 15 March to consider a second round of funding applications, following the award of over £147,000 in December 2020. In total, 37 community groups and local businesses were awarded grant funding of up to £5,000 each. The funding awards will be formally confirmed on 25 March following a 10 day ‘call-in’ period.
The Covid-19 Recovery Grants, funded through Mid Sussex District Council’s 2020/21 budget, are in addition to the national financial support schemes provided by the Government. They are designed specifically to help Mid Sussex organisations to cope with the costs of Covid-19, get back on their feet and build for the future.
Grants were awarded to 20 local businesses, many of which are from business sectors that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. The grants will help local businesses to purchase new equipment and develop new ways of doing business, so they can reach out to new customers and continue to trade in these difficult conditions.
Councillor Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:
“The Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated restrictions, have made the past 12 months extremely difficult for most of our local businesses. They’ve played their part in protecting the NHS and the wider community by closing when required but, of course, this comes at a significant financial cost.
“The Government has been offering financial support to all businesses who are mandated to close but the application window for the ‘Local Restrictions Support Grants’ closes for the final time on 31 March. There remains funding of around £10million and I strongly encourage our local businesses to apply at https://midsussex.grantapproval.co.uk/ or contact the Council to check your eligibility at email@example.com
“The recovery of our local economy is now the number one priority for Mid Sussex District Council and that’s why we’re providing this additional support, unique to our area, that will help local businesses bounce back from this awful pandemic.
“By helping local businesses to fund these projects, we are enabling them to grow their businesses and create additional jobs, which will be vital to the future prosperity of our area as we recover from Covid-19.”
Applications were also received from a wide range of voluntary sector organisations and local community groups that work to support Mid Sussex residents. The funding will help to support many different projects including care packages for isolated older people, outside shelters so community activities can continue outdoors and a training course that will help people who have lost their job because of the pandemic to find new employment.
Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community said:
“One of the few positive things to emerge from this pandemic is the fantastic way our local communities all worked together in a time of crisis to help and support those in need.
“Voluntary groups have always done fantastic work for the community, but it was heart-warming to see so many new volunteers coming forward and people going the extra mile to help others through this difficult time.
“If the past year has shown us anything, it’s the importance of supporting one another and local voluntary groups have such a key role to play. This grant funding will help them to respond to the immediate challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and to adapt and reconfigure their operations, so they are in a strong position to provide their services in the future.”