A LOCAL authority is urging all local businesses impacted by the pandemic to apply for coronavirus support grants.

The Government is expected to provide further financial help after it was announced Test Valley would be plunged into Tier 4 from Boxing Day [December 26] following a surge in Covid-19 cases across Hampshire and the south east.

But, there are already hundreds of thousands of pounds available for those affected by the previous lockdowns and Tier 2 restrictions.

There are currently five live schemes, with grants varying from a few hundred pounds to £3,000 for every 28-day period.

They include money for those businesses that have been forced to close as a result of the national restrictions, including those that stayed open but whose custom was significantly impacted.

There is also a one-off Christmas support payment of £1,000 available to all wet-led pubs.

Finance portfolio holder, Cllr Maureen Flood, said: “This has probably been the most challenging year many businesses have faced. The health impact of the virus has been utterly devastating and the impact on businesses has also been catastrophic.

“Our teams continue to work incredibly hard to process applications as quickly as possible and we are urging people to ensure they apply for these grants.

"The money is there and available to all those who are eligible, so I would appeal to businesses to take a look as every little helps."

She added: "We are all hoping that 2021 will be better, and with the rollout of the vaccine that should indeed be the case. But, in the meantime, these grants will help see us through the challenging months ahead.”

To view the full list of grants available and to apply, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk/businessgrant.