Council in top 10% for Covid-19 business grants
Cheshire East Council has highlighted the Government criteria for business grants, as it continued to distribute vital funds to eligible firms in the borough.
Following the chancellor’s announcement in March, a £330bn Covid-19 support package was announced to businesses in the UK, including a business grant scheme that would be distributed by local authorities.
The two new grant funding schemes were announced, which cover the following scenarios:
• A small business grant fund of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief; and
• Grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, which offers A grant of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property where the rateable value is up to £15,000, or a grant of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property, where the rateable value is over £15,000 and below £51,000.
The council said it was working hard to ensure these grants were received by eligible businesses as soon as possible.
It said when new bank details were received – via the easy-to-use electronic form on the council website – the majority of grants were issued within a week, subject to any additional information being needed, at which point the council will contact the business.
Once the council has validated a business’s bank details, the grant will usually be paid within the next three to five days. Where submitted forms contain discrepancies, such as details which differ from those previously provided or where recent changes may impact on eligibility – the council said it was working to resolve the cases and the timescales for these cases may be longer.
There is a range of eligibility exclusions that would lead to a business not qualifying for either grant. Examples of this include where a business is run from home or those that were in liquidation or dissolved as of 11th March.
More information on each grant’s exclusion criteria can be found online at cheshireeast.gov.uk/covidbusinessrates
Coun Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We completely understand that is a very difficult and worrying time for local businesses and are working hard to ensure eligible businesses receive this public money as soon as possible.
“To date we have transferred more than £53.8m in grants to 4,269 eligible businesses in Cheshire East. This figure changes every day as we work towards issuing just over 7,000 grants in total.
“If you have submitted the correct bank details, we will be delivering your grant within the next few days.
“To support this work, the council is redeploying staff to help with the huge demand on this service area. These staff are contacting businesses who have not yet given us their bank details.”
The council said it was currently verifying a large number of business bank details and asked other small businesses, who had not yet submitted their details, to do it online at cheshireeast.gov.uk/covidbusinessrates
• Businesses are strongly advised to not use an agent to complete these simple forms and instead go direct to the council, to ensure 100% of the grant funds are received by the business.