Council distributes £57m in ‘lifeline’ coronavirus support grants to local businesses
PUBLISHED: 12:38 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 26 May 2020
A council has awarded their 5,000th grant, and more than £57 million, as it continues to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
East Suffolk Council have contacted more than 7,000 businesses in the area who they believe may be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund, with 5,019 of the 5,031 applicants claiming a share of £57,450,000.
Councillor Craig Rivett, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We know this is a very difficult time for a lot of our businesses, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them through this.
“We have received just over 5,000 applications to date, and our staff have been working extremely hard to process these and pay out the grants as fast as they can, as we know these are lifelines to so many businesses.
“However, we know there are still eligible businesses which have not applied despite being entitled to get the financial support they deserve and need.
“I want to make it clear these are grants, not loans that will need to be paid back, and they can make the difference between a business closing or surviving.
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“We want our businesses to come out the other end in the strongest possible position to recover, so therefore I urge all small and medium-sized businesses who haven’t yet, to check if they are eligible for these grants.
“Even if you’re not sure, it is worth checking.”
If all information provided in the application is accurate and up-to-date, payments are processed in around five to six working days.
The council’s efforts in helping businesses access the “lifeline” funding were praised by Lowestoft Vision director Danny Steel earlier this month.
“I would like to offer my thanks to the East Suffolk team that have worked tirelessly to deliver the business support grants quickly and efficiently to the businesses in and around town.
“These are difficult times for all of us, times when we all need to work together for the greater good, and the East Suffolk officers and staff are showing the way.
“Very well done and thank you.”
To find out if your business is eligible, go to: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding.
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