Middlesbrough Council has launched the second phase of its business support scheme and asks small businesses to apply for funding.

Businesses must have less than 50 employees and be able to demonstrate a large drop in income since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further criteria include businesses not based from home, who were trading on or before March 11 2020, have ongoing fixed costs (such as rent) and have a rateable value under £50,999.

Small businesses can apply if they have not received any other COVID-19 related grants such as business rate holidays.

To support businesses further during the pandemic crisis the Government outlined on May 1 a discretionary grants fund.

Phase 1 of the discretionary scheme is now closed but Middlesbrough Council is now inviting businesses to express an interest in Phase 2 of the discretionary scheme.

The closing date for applications is Friday, July 3.

For more information visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/community-support-and-safety/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-business-support#mbcsupport