Almost £63 million in grants has been distributed among nearly 5,000 small businesses across Warwickshire to support them as they face up to the enormous challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The District and Borough Councils, which administer the grants, have now allocated around 60% of eligible grants, among the best-performing local authorities in the country.
That rapid turn-round of funding has been hugely welcomed by small businesses including Noisegate Media, in Leamington Spa.
Liz Katz, director of Noisegate media, said: “Very little has been simple or straightforward over the past few weeks, so it was a huge relief to find that applying for our Small Business Rate Relief grant took just a couple of minutes online.
“The swift release of funds – money in our account by April 9th – has given us a breathing space to adjust and regroup with our team and our clients as we work out how to maintain levels of service in these increasingly uncertain times.”
The process remains very much ongoing. Business who think that they may be eligible for a grant should contact their relevant district or borough council. It is essential that they get in touch with their local authority to ensure the council has all the information required to process the application. For details please visit the relevant district/borough website: North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick District, Stratford. Information on eligibility can also be found on the Warwickshire County Council.
Warwickshire County Council strategic director for communities Mark Ryder said: “Our officers have worked incredibly hard with our partners at district and boroughs and Coventry to get this money out quickly to where it is so desperately needed.
“It has been a fantastic effort from the staff at all the councils which has meant that businesses in Warwickshire have received vital and, in some cases, no doubt business-saving funding very quickly. Our thanks go to staff across the councils for all their fantastic efforts.”
Warwickshire County Council is working closely with CWLEP Growth Hub, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the District and Borough councils and other partners to co-ordinate and provide support to local businesses. The council, Growth Hub, Chamber and have received over 2,500 business enquires since the onset of COVID 19. WCC’s Customer Contact Centre alone received over 500 calls in two weeks from businesses, the self-employed and employees in just two weeks.The Growth Hub has conducted in-depth engagements with 472 businesses in Warwickshire.