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Crawley traders, what do you think of new proposal to charge over 5p a day per cover outside your business on public paths?

Traders are being asked by West Sussex County Council what they think of new proposals for the licensing of tables and chairs on the pavement outside their businesses.

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Following feedback on the current flat fee of £520, a consultation on sliding-scale proposals, with charges dependent on the number of covers, went live today.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“We have listened to people’s comments about the current flat fee. Most suggested that a sliding-scale approach would be preferable so smaller establishments would pay less compared to businesses which want to place a larger number of covers on the pavement.

“We now propose a one-off, £150 initial application fee. Then the proposed charge would be £20 per cover (a cover is usually a single chair) per annum, which equates to just over 5p per day, per cover.

We would really appreciate traders taking the time and trouble to visit our online consultation page www.westsussex.gov.uk/tablesandchairs2020 and let us know what they think of the proposals.”

The sliding scale encourages businesses with a larger number of covers to carefully consider how many covers they are likely to fill on a regular basis – or face paying a premium for empty chairs, which can obscure nearby smaller premises, obstruct the highway and provide an unnecessary obstacle for the visually impaired.

The consultation runs until 24 February 2020.

Business

Over £2m given to Crawley Council for discretionary business grants

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Eligible Crawley businesses can now apply for discretionary business grants.

The government has given the council £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that have been affected by the lockdown but are not legally required to close.

This funding lasts until March 2022 and is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town.

Eligible businesses are those who:

  • Are not entitled to Local Restriction Support Grants, and
  • Were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed (Wednesday 4 November), and
  • Are now required to close under national restrictions or, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions.

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant can now be made at grantapproval.co.uk

There are different types of grants based on the rateable value of property/property costs or business type.

Businesses can check if they’re eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant by visiting gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

There is further guidance and a copy of the West Sussex countywide policy on the council’s website. The scheme will close on Sunday 13 December and the aim is to make payments as soon as possible after that.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“While we haven’t been allocated enough funding to help every local business, we will do everything we can to support as many Crawley businesses as possible.

“If you need support please get in touch via the council’s dedicated webpage.”

Applications for the Local Restriction Support Grant opened on 17 November. Businesses forced to close by the second lockdown can apply for this grant at grantapproval.co.uk For more details on help available for businesses visit crawley.gov.uk/emergency/coronavirus-information/businesses-and-employers

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