Nearly £10m in grants for small businesses have been paid out to 944 businesses, as the council continues to work hard to support local businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
Teams worked on Good Friday, over the weekend and on Easter Monday to process further applications as per the Government guidance, call businesses directly where further information was required to make payments, and also process new applications. The council is currently working through the remaining number of small business grants applications received over the weekend in order to make payment, and has also started to check and process retail, hospitality and leisure grants.
Over 1,600 businesses have now applied for the small businesses grant fund (up from 1,300 on Thursday 9 April) and over 500 (up from nearly 400 on Thursday 9 April) have applied for the retail, hospitality and leisure business grant. The council is awaiting bank details from a number of small business grant applicants and is urging businesses to provide them when they submit their details online.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, leisure and tourism said: “We know how important these grants are to local businesses, and that is why our teams have been working very hard and over the Easter weekend to process applications, make secure payments to the right businesses, call businesses directly where more information is needed and also process new applications being made.
“This process will continue this week and beyond as more businesses apply for the grants available to them.
“We have already written to businesses again to remind them to apply if they think they are eligible. We would ask that those filling in the application forms to please include their bank details as this will speed up the process and mean we don’t need to phone them to request details.
“If any businesses think they are eligible for the grants, please visit our website.”
The Small Business Grants Fund makes £10,000 available per eligible business who are currently in receipt of small business rates relief. Payments will be made by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council from government funding to support a business’s cash flow.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property depending on their ratable value.