OWNERS of a dog grooming business say it is at risk of collapse without more support.

Claire and Carl Wood, of Claire’s K9 Clips, on Poppleton Road, do not qualify for closed business support, despite Covid restrictions taking away almost all of their ability to trade.

The Government’s Local Restriction Support Grant (LRSG) is earmarked for businesses forced to close as a result of the pandemic.

Dog groomers are only legally allowed to undertake trade in rare cases where a dog’s welfare is threatened. Claire said this amounted to less than ten percent of their typical trade.

“In reality this renders us, effectively, closed. A growing number of councils are starting to understand this and pay out the LRSG but City of York Council are not.”

She believes some councils are viewing dog groomers in the same way as other closed non-essential businesses offering minimal trade, such as a click and collect service.

“Those councils are proactively backing their local businesses. If City of York don’t do the same we are in danger of going under.”

Holgate Ward Councillor Kallum Taylor said it was wrong that businesses told to stop the vast majority of trade were not receiving enough support to tide them over.

“It’s even worse that whether or not many of them survive depends heavily on which council area they are lucky or unlucky enough to sit within.This is a right dog’s dinner where we’ve got national guidance lacking the necessary nuance to more clearly cover this type of business, while the local council so far seems to be waiting for everyone else to move first before changing its position.”

He is calling on the Government to address 'the postcode lottery of support', and wants York council to interpret the guidance 'more positively’ to back businesses like Claire and Carl’s.

A council spokesman said: “Businesses in this position which pay business rates will qualify for at least £5,000 through a combination of the local restrictions grants, introduced in October, and the council’s discretionary fund. There will be further payments if the government extends lockdown.

“But we have been told by central government that businesses not forced to close entirely do not qualify for the lockdown addendum and top-up grants for closed businesses. This means that any local authority which pays this may not be given the money to cover the grant."

He said the council was seeking clarification. "We want to make sure every York businesses gets every penny of available support as quickly as possible. “We recognise many businesses have fallen through the cracks of government support, which is why we have designed our own additional restrictions grant to offer financial support where needed."

Visit york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport for details of available grants.