Local businesses that suffered from the disturbances during the riots in August will have until the new year to claim emergency funding.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told local councillors that the £20 million High Street Support Scheme would now be open until 3 January 2012 – giving some 2,000 affected businesses enough time to cover the Christmas period.
Pickles said that both central and local government were making sure that “the innocent victims of these mindless acts of looting and violence” were not left to “pick up the pieces on their own”.
To date 95 Croydon-based businesses have already applied for the grant. However, Pickles encouraged firms to continue applying beyond the original deadline of early November.
The High Street Support Scheme, partnered with large businesses, Croydon Council and other London boroughs, launched during the aftermath of the London riots in August to offer cash to those most affected.
Croydon Council has further provided free parking for shops on the London Road to attract customers which has been effective since 24 October 2011.
Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “It very quickly became obvious that a degree of urgency was required if we were to assist businesses that had been severely affected by the public disorder in August.”
Pickles addressed this urgency at the Local Government Association conference in London saying that ministers had listened to councils and shopkeepers complaints by agreeing to push back the deadline. This gives them an eight week extension to apply for financial aid.
Under the jointly funded Department for Communities and Local Government and business department scheme, councils can offer business rate relief for local firms. Local authorities would pay a quarter of the costs, which central government would later reimburse. The Croydon borough is entitled to a £10 million riot-grant from the government.
To apply call 0800 093 5858 or visit www.thehighstreetfund.co.uk