Publisher’s Note: We are happy to be sharing posts from Mansfield’s Sister City, Mansfield, England, in the county of Nottinghamshire, through our relationship with the Mansfield, Ashfield,and Warsop News-Journal. We are posting these both to acquaint our readers with how the coronavirus is impacting those in other parts of the world and, in particular, in a city with which we have a close bond. 

By 1812Blockhouse

Great minds think alike, they say.

Like their sister city businesses in the United States, the small businesses of Mansfield, England are seeing local governments and institutions mobilize to provide financial support during a period of serious spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases.

England is in the midst of a second lockdown after the country hit the one million mark in COVID cases.

Saying “We must act now to contain the autumn surge,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced measures that include the closing of restaurants, pubs, and non-essential businesses, as well as restrictions on outdoor excursions. Citizens may leave their homes for specific reasons only, including education, shopping for food, work if it cannot be done remotely, or for health and exercise.

As you might imagine, such restrictions are having a substantial impact on local businesses.

To that end, Mansfield Dostrict Council, the ruling body in Mansfield, Ohio’s sister city, is providing financial assistance for these restaurants and pubs, similar to what has taken place in Mansfield and Richland County through the Richland County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program and Non Profit Grant Program.

In Mansfield, England, the assistance comes in various forms. Grants include the following, according to this story in The Mansfield, Ashfield, and Warsop News Journal. That post shares the following (NOTE – “Tier” refers to a rough equivalent to the Ohio Public Health Advisory Systems number/color level program):

“The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) discretionary scheme

This is aimed at supporting businesses that were not legally forced to close under Tier 2 and 3 restrictions but were severely impacted by the localised restrictions on socialising that were in place. This funding is available on a pro rata basis from 14 October 2020 up to and including 4 November 2020 before national restrictions started and the mandatory scheme took over.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) mandatory scheme

This is for businesses that were legally required to close when Nottinghamshire entered Tier 3 local restrictions on 30 October 2020 and under the national lockdown, which is in force from 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020.

The Local Restrictions Grant (Sector) scheme

This is for businesses, such as nightclubs, that were legally required to close on 23 March 2020 and have had to remain closed. These businesses are also eligible for the Local Restriction Support Grant (Closed) scheme whilst the national lockdown is in force.

Additional Restrictions Grant

There is limited funding for one-off discretionary payments for businesses not in the council’s Business Rates system, as well as businesses not required to close but which are severely impacted (for example, because of closure of their suppliers or the customers they supply to). The scheme also provides top-up grants to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) for businesses in the council’s Business Rates system.

Coun Craig Whitby, Deputy Mayor and Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance, said: “We have been working hard to get these schemes up and running and we hope they will prove to be a valuable lifeline for many businesses at this very difficult and stressful time. Our Finance team will be working as quickly as it can to make payments but please be patient as they are expecting to receive lots of applications.”

Grant amounts tend to fall within the 1.000 to 3,000 pounds per day amount during the 28 day lockdown period (roughly $1,300 to $4,000 at the current exchange rate).

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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