£50 million support package for Charnwood businesses leaps into action

More than £5 million of government funding is on its way to Charnwood businesses as part of a £50 million package to help local firms.

Charnwood Borough Council has acted quickly to get the first set of government business grants to local companies who are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. More firms will receive millions of pounds of support in the coming weeks.

On the day the council launched its online registration form Wednesday 1st April, 539 businesses registered for grants and 222 payments worth a total of £5.5 million were processed that day. Some applications require further checks or information and are being carried out as a priority.

The Council estimates 2,700 businesses in the borough will be eligible for the grants worth a combined total of £32million.

It comes as the Council also informs 850 businesses in the borough this week that they qualify for a business rates relief holiday and therefore will not pay rates for a year. That will save the 850 businesses over £18 million in business rates.

Combined with the grants, the available support to borough businesses is worth around £50 million.

Cllr Tom Barkley, deputy leader of the council and lead member for finance, said: “After being in business myself for many years, I understand how heart-breaking it must be to be told to shut the door to your customers. The Council wants to make sure that every Charnwood business gets the help it needs during these times of upheaval.

“We have worked really hard and redeployed staff to start getting this funding to local companies because we know how much businesses are struggling and soon as we received the funding from government, we started moving it on to businesses.

“In total, between the grants and the business rates holidays, we estimate that package of support will be around £50 million in Charnwood alone”.

Grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 are available to businesses that already get rate relief or are in sectors most affected by the national lockdown – such as shops, restaurants, gyms, beauticians and estate agents.

In order to claim the grant payment, a business needs to fill in an online registration form on the Council website. It does not take long to complete and will help ensure that payments only go to those businesses that are eligible and in most need.

The Council has also deployed extra staff to help process the payments and deal with queries about the grants and other business rates matters during the COVID-19 crisis. However, the Council has been experiencing a high volume of calls so people are encouraged to visit the Council website in the first instance www.charnwood.gov.uk/cvbusiness or email [email protected]. Alternatively, call 01509 634831. 

The government website businessupport.gov.uk is also packed with information for businesses.