MORE than £1 million of additional financial support for local businesses in Darlington is now available as central Government provides extra funding aimed at small businesses who have seen a significant drop in income due to the coronavirus crisis.

This could mean many more local businesses being able to apply for a grant of up to £10,000 to help them survive the current trading conditions.

The application process for the Discretionary Business Grant is now open and closes on Thursday June, 11.

The announcement from Government comes after more than 1,600 Darlington businesses received grants totalling £16 million to support them through the coronavirus pandemic.

This new grant is aimed at small businesses that can demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for those businesses who, through no fault of their own, did not benefit from the initial emergency cash grants for business. Central Government has listened to their concerns and has now provided additional support to reflect their individual situations.

“Businesses operate in many different ways and we are confident that this additional fund will help to support and protect those that provide the diverse mix of business that helps to make Darlington unique.

“These are undoubtedly tough times for residents and businesses alike and we are working hard to make sure that support reaches those who need it most.”

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, added: “Any local business who thinks they may qualify for this help must act quickly as this opportunity will only be available for a limited time. This means that we can act quickly to assess applications and grant funds quickly.

“I urge all local small business owners who have not already received or qualified for support to check the full list of criteria on our web pages and then apply as soon as they can.”