BUSINESSES in Ludlow and south Shropshire are being reminded that there is support available so now is the time to apply.

Shropshire Council is now running two grant schemes for businesses affected by Covid-19.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant allocates money based on rateable value to non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care businesses that have been forced to close. The grant is also available to leisure and community venues, along with sports facilities.

A second grant scheme was launched last month.

Businesses that have not been forced to close but have been severely impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant.

The grant levels are based on rateable value: £15,000 or under - £1,334, between £15,000 and-£51,000 - £2,000: £51,000 or more - £3,000

This is available to micro or small businesses with up to 50 employees that were trading on or before November 4.

Eligible businesses must have ongoing fixed costs, such as rates, rents, mortgages, or leases and be able to present a “strong justification” for support.

The business should have had a minimum annual income of £10,000 (pre-COVID-19 and pro rata if a newly established business) and have suffered a fall in income of at least 30 per cent from pre-COVID-19 levels.

In addition, the government has extended its scheme for the self-employed.

In addition to this the Government has extended the furlough or jobs retention scheme that supports pay for people who have to be laid off. Other support for businesses includes VAT payment holidays.