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Coronavirus grants now available to small businesses

Shrewsbury | Coronavirus | Published:

Shropshire’s small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, can apply for Government funding through the coronavirus Covid-19 Small Business Grant Fund, and Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

A total of £91 million in funding was provided by the Government to Shropshire Council on Wednesday to pass directly onto businesses through these schemes.

It is estimated that more than 7,000 businesses can access this money, providing they meet the criteria set by the Government.

Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “This funding is very welcome and will be vital to our many small businesses in these difficult times.

“We estimate that over 7,000 businesses in Shropshire will qualify for one of the grants, so this is going to take a bit of time to get through. We’ve never had to do anything like this before, or on this scale, but we can assure businesses that we will be working as fast as we possibly can.

“Where we hold their details, we have emailed businesses and sent out letters. We ask businesses to bear with us, as we try to get an unprecedented amount of funding out to businesses as quickly as we can.

“While speed is of the essence, we also need to ensure that the right amount of money is paid to the correct businesses, so we’re trying to get the balance right.”

Under the Small Business Grant Fund, all businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000, providing they meet the eligibility rules.

To be included, a business must be eligible for either relief as at 11 March 2020 and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less.

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Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses that do not pay into the business rates system are not included in this scheme, and there are some other exceptions.

Applications can be made now via the council website – https://shropshire.gov.uk/covid-19-grants

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