Over 700 small businesses in South Holland have already applied for a share of the £19m government grants and relief set up to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
South Holland District Council is overseeing the initiative in the area and has written to over 1,600 businesses inviting them to submit an online form to make their claim for either a £10,000 or £25,000 grant, depending on their eligibility.
With over 700 applications already received, the council says it will be processing these grant payments daily to get the money to businesses as soon as possible following payment by central government and it says it expects to receive hundreds more applications over the coming days.
A spokesman for South Holland District Council, said: “If business owners have not yet received a letter, they should check their business address to make sure it has not been delivered there.
“The council is working hard to ensure that every business affected is aware of the support that is available to them, but is asking businesses who have already applied not to contact the council to ask when their payments will be made.
“All grants will be paid as soon as possible and staff are currently concentrating on verifying the claims and processing them as quickly as possible.”
Councillor Peter Coupland, South Holland District Council portfolio holder for finance, said:
“I am delighted that we have now received these vital funds for local businesses, and can immediately get around to getting them distributed to the companies of all sectors and sizes who keep our District running.
“We are committed to supporting the District’s businesses and rest assured that our Finance, Business Rates and Economic Development teams are working flat out to make sure all businesses and residents get the financial support they need during this very difficult period.
“We want everyone who is eligible to take advantage of every support opportunity that they are entitled to, so please check whether you qualify for a particular reduction or discount on our website.
“Finally please bear with us, we are working hard to make these payments as soon as we possibly can. They will be with you very soon.”
To check eligibility and apply for the grants, businesses should visit the council’s website: https://www.sholland.gov.uk/covidsupport. This is the only place that these forms can be completed, and any third party websites or links not associated with South Holland District Council will not be able to access the grants and may be fraudulent.
The form is quick and easy to complete, collecting only the basic data needed to verify ratepayers and authorise the transfer of grant funding. All fields should be completed where possible, as this makes it quicker and easier for the team to process.
As part of additional support measures, the ouncil is also processing changes to the Retail Relief scheme which will mean all retail, leisure and tourism businesses will pay no business rates in 2020-21, regardless of their rateable value.
Those businesses affected will receive a revised rates bill to confirm that they will not need to pay any rates for 2020-21. Those businesses that pay by Direct Debit and now qualify for the relief will not have a payment taken.