BARNSLEY’S cash-strapped businesses left with no choice but to close last week as a result of a second national lockdown have been promised more than £30m is available to help them stave off the threat of permanent closure.

The Sheffield City Region - headed by Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and the leaders of South Yorkshire’s four councils - is in the process of distributing discretionary grants to support businesses and self-employed traders adversely affected.

Leisure, hospitality and accommodation businesses will all receive support, with one-off payments promised by county bosses designed to help owners through the month.

Under the new financial package, businesses can apply for between £500 and £3,000 subject to their rental and rateable values and it is open to anyone whose income was affected between November 5 and December 2.

Dan said: “Covid-19 has caused significant turbulence for workers and businesses, so securing extra financial support when tier three was entered in October was of the utmost importance.

“Local authority leaders and I worked around the clock to secure as much support as possible from government.

“We have been working to develop a scheme which makes every pound count, so it supports as many workers and employers across the region as possible.

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“I’m pleased that this funding is now available, and I would strongly encourage any businesses or self-employed traders to check if they are eligible and apply.

“This package will help our businesses through difficult times as we look to recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible.”

Since the pandemic began in March, Barnsley Council has supported more than 4,000 businesses financially, by providing in excess of £44m in grants to protect the local economy in a bid to prevent widespread closures.

Leader Sir Steve Houghton added: “We want Barnsley businesses to thrive and although we’re in incredibly difficult circumstances, I’m pleased we now have a package of support in place to help those businesses which are at the heart of our community.

“I would encourage businesses to take a look at the information on the Enterprising Barnsley’s website and speak to a business adviser who can provide more support.

“This crisis has highlighted the integral role businesses play in our communities and the livelihoods of the people living here.

“I appreciate it has been challenging, but we need to pull together and double our efforts to get us through this pandemic.

“I don’t underestimate the impact this will have on everyone, including our organisation. We’re continuing to follow our action plan, doing all we can to support our residents.

“Businesses looking to receive financial support through these grants should contact us for more information and to apply.”