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NEWS RELEASE- £2.275m in business grants helping local Businesses

NEWS RELEASE



PR 3457

01 April 2020

For Immediate Release

£2.275m in business grants helping local businesses

Local businesses are starting to benefit from the grants introduced by Government in response to the Coronavirus, Covid – 19 and administered by the borough council. The Chancellor set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This package included support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, both of which are administered by the local authority. This week the borough council has paid out the first of those grants to local business, totalling a sum of £2,275,000. Cllr Graham Middleton, Cabinet Member for Business Development said: "We paid out the first grants to businesses on Tuesday, 31 March and Wednesday, 1 April. A total of 181 businesses have received grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 and the total paid out is £2,275,000 which we hope will really help those business cope through these unprecedented times. We hope to get further grants paid out over the next couple of days. "We understand how tough it is for everyone, including business and other organisations. We have been promoting the help packages that the Government has announced and have worked as quickly as we can to get these grants processed and the money released." "Anyone that hasn't yet registered for one of the above grants should got to our webpage west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on business assistance page to check their eligibility for a grant and to complete the online verification form. We don't want businesses to miss out on support to which they could be entitled." Further information about support for businesses from the government is available by going to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19 In addition to the grants mentioned above, there is also business rates relief. The borough council is currently checking accounts to see who qualifies. Any business that qualifies will be sent a revised bill. It will mean the business won't have to pay business rates for 12 months from 1 April 2020. Cllr Stuart Dark, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Emergency Planning, said: "The guidance and legislation has been changing a lot over the last few days and our staff in the revenues and benefits department have gone and above and beyond to ensure these grants could be processed as quickly as possible to try to help protect local businesses. I am appreciative of the efforts and delighted that £2.275 million of government support has already been paid out to local businesses needing help. This is just one of a range of packages that have been announced by Government, so it is good to see that the money is now available to support people directly. "We hope that many more will use our eligibility checker on our website and and complete the verification form. We are sharing this information with as many businesses as we can, along with the Chambers of Trade, LEP and BID. Any help people can give in getting this message to local businesses is very much appreciated. We would also ask that people are patient as this is an unprecedented package of support and lots of legislative changes and we dealing with all the requests as fast as we can." Stay at home - Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home) - If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times - Wash your hands as soon as you get home - Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Notes for editors Small Business Grant There is a £10,000 grant for qualifying small businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant There is additional grant money available for businesses who qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount which we outlined above. Qualifying businesses with a rateable value up to £15,000 will receive £10,000. Qualifying businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 will receive £25,000.

Issued by: Sharon Clifton, Communications Manager, on 01553 616711

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