Calderdale Council estimates that a massive 1,250 businesses have been affected by the Boxing Day floods. These businesses can apply to the Council for financial support to help them get back on their feet.
A grant of up to £2,500 per business is available to help them open up and start trading again after damage caused by Storm Eva. The funding covers costs such as clean up equipment (generators, dehumidifiers, lighting, brushes etc), building and stock security, IT and electricity, temporary accommodation, specialist advice and marketing to keep customers informed.
Businesses can apply for the grant through the application form on the Council’s website – go to www.calderdale.gov.uk, click on the emergency flooding information box and read the flooding FAQs. The Council’s business support team is delivering the form to firms in affected areas, and hard copies are available in the community hubs in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge, where team members are on hand to answer questions.
Businesses that are eligible for the grant are small to medium enterprises, charities and other third sector organisations.
The Council is aiming to pay the grants within five days of receiving a completed application form. Grants can be paid against items that have already been purchased (after the date of the flood) and items which the business has not yet purchased. 100% of the grant will be paid up front, and each business will need to provide evidence of expenditure at a later date. Grants should be used for items which have not, and will not, be covered by insurance.
The Council knows that for many businesses, £2,500 will not cover the full cost of the damage. It will be seeking further support from the government and the Leeds City Region, particularly for businesses substantially affected by the floods.
For more information about the grant, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01422 392222.
In addition to the grant, flood-affected businesses are entitled to 100 per cent relief from their business rates for a minimum of three months (or until the business restarts trading from the property if this is longer than three months). The rateable value of the property on the day of the impact must have been less than £10 million. The scheme does not cover properties that were empty at the time of the flooding.
To apply for business rates relief, please email email@example.com or call 01422 393699, quoting your property reference number.
The above financial support is intended to help get businesses back on their feet in the short-term. The Council is looking into the provision of longer term support in terms of preventative / resilience funding.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“A huge amount of businesses have been affected by the severe floods, from a range of different sectors including retail and manufacturing. This affects the livelihoods of so many local businesspeople as well as their employees who live locally and whose homes might be flood-affected too.
“Local businesses are a vital part of our economy – we want them back on their feet and for customers to keep visiting them. The business rates relief and recovery grant will go some way towards this, but we know that it will only scratch the surface for many businesses. This reflects the amount of funding the Council has available at this time. We will be seeking further support from the government and the Leeds City Region, particularly for those substantially affected.”
Cllr Barry Collins, the Council’s Deputy Leader, added:
“The Council’s business support team continues to meet with businesspeople across the borough to understand the scale of the damage and offer information, advice and help coordinating the clean up.
“The incredible positivity and resilience of our local firms has really shone through, which is testament to Calderdale’s strong business community. Our towns are still open for business, and we urge people to come along to the markets which are running as normal – in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday and Thursday; Todmorden from Wednesday to Sunday; Elland on Friday; and Sowerby Bridge from Thursday to Saturday.”