Cash support to help small businesses and the self-employed keep themselves and customers safe from Covid-19 is now available from Middlesbrough Council.
Eligible businesses with up to and including nine employees can apply for grants of up to £100.
Firms can make a claim to cover the cost of protective measures such as hand sanitiser, face coverings, screens, chair covers and other such items.
Self-employed people who don’t have their own premises can also make a claim.
In addition, taxi drivers with a Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle will be signposted to one of four local businesses and provided with face coverings and a protective screen supplied and fitted at no cost to the driver.
Taxis licensed to Middlesbrough Council will be prioritised in the first instance. Further funding support may become available for other taxis operating in the town, if so this will be announced at a later date.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “We’ve got a big challenge ahead with Covid rates rising again.
“The government has asked people to work from home where they can, but it’s important that those who can’t also get support to make their working environments Covid safe.
“It’s quick and easy to apply and these relatively small amounts of money can go a long way in terms of stopping the spread and keeping people in Middlesbrough safe.”
The grant schemes have been designed so processing and payments can be handled at speed.
Small businesses awarded a grant will receive a text message they can use to redeem the payment from any Pay Point facility. Payments will need to be claimed within three working days of receiving the text message.
The costs of supplying and fitting the screens for taxis will be paid directly by the Council to one of four approved companies that will carry out the work, starting on September 28.
Taxi drivers will be expected to sign confirmation at the time of fitting and claim their face covering.
The small business grant is not intended for businesses that have a head office.
Only one claim can be made per applicant and receipts must be provided.
Only Covid-19 protective items bought on or after September 23 are eligible.
Businesses that have already accessed Covid grant funding can still make a claim under this scheme.
The programme is being funded by money allocated to the Council to support its Local Outbreak Management Plan by central government.
To make an application or find out more about eligibility visit middlesbrough.gov.uk/PPEgrant.
Applicants will receive a decision within seven days. Claims will be processed by order of application for six weeks from September 23.