A new grant scheme has been launched by Allerdale council to support businesses and charities affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The council’s discretionary grant scheme has opened for a second round, having already helped 148 local businesses with a total of £830,000 paid out.

Cash grants of up to £25,000 are now available to eligible businesses, with other amounts paid out on a sliding scale depending on the number of employees, the property costs or the amount of income lost.

The first round of the scheme focused on those sectors the council had been asked to prioritise by the Government, but in reviewing the criteria of the scheme for this second round the council will be able to help local businesses and charities that have been hit financially by the coronavirus outbreak and were not eligible before.

To qualify for the second round of the scheme, the council is prioritising small and micro businesses that can demonstrate at least a 25 per cent fall in trading income. They also have to fall into one of the following categories: a registered charity or Community Interest Company; bed and breakfast accommodation provider that pays council tax instead of business rates; a retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value exceeding £51,000; a local wholesaler, supply chain business or other business that relies on businesses mandated to close by Government for the majority of their business and has a rateable value above £51,000; and manufacturing businesses with a rateable value above £51,000.

Businesses cannot apply if they are eligible for any of the other grant schemes or financial support initiatives announced by the government, except the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for furloughed staff) or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. They also need to be able to show that they were trading on March 11 2020.

Full details of the scheme and an application form are available at Allerdale's site.

The scheme will be open for four weeks, ending at 5pm on August 10 2020. Completed applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

Businesses that applied for the first round of the scheme but were not eligible, but believe they are eligible for the second round, will need to apply again.

The council has around £1.1m in funding for the scheme. The council is endeavouring to make payments within 15 working days of a completed application being received.