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Posted On: 28-05-2020
Posted In: Business and economy

HM Government Support for business graphicMid Devon District Council has now issued almost £18 million of grant funding to local businesses since 1st April.

In response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK Government announced unprecedented levels of business support to include cash grants to cover the wages of furloughed employees.

With very little notice, the Government handed the immense task of managing and distributing the funds to local authorities. As soon as the money was made available on 1 April, officers, from the Council’s Revenues team with support from staff redeployed from the Economic Development team, have been working non-stop, processing applications and issuing grant payments to Mid Devon businesses as swiftly as possible.

The joint team has steadily increased the number of detailed applications they process each day, with the highest single amount paid so far totalling £1,130,000. The team has also been using websites, social media and local media to reach the businesses which they do not hold details for, but are eligible for funding.

To date, the Council has received 1,565 applications and released £17,890,000 worth of grants, (equivalent to approximately 79% of the funding allocated to Mid Devon).

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Alex White, said:

“Business grants are a vital lifeline to businesses who are worried about the future and struggling at this point in time. Our officers are working fast to ensure those businesses who need it most are receiving the money as quickly as possible.”

The speedy work has not gone unnoticed by local businesses with many organisations and business owners contacting the team with notes of thanks and appreciation.

Businesses can find out more about the grants available and watch a video to find out how to apply by visiting middevon.gov.uk/COVID19CashGrantSchemes. They are also encouraged to sign-up to the Council’s Business Rates at middevon.gov.uk/MyBusinessRatesAccount in order to expedite payment.

How the Government’s Small Business Grants Fund works:

  • The Small Business Grants Fund is a £10,000 grant per eligible business, originally announced at Budget
  • Businesses included in this scheme are those that, as of March 11, were eligible for relief under the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (including those with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief) or the Rural Rate Relief Scheme
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund was announced by the Chancellor on March 17. Businesses in scope were those that were eligible on March 11 for a discount under the Expanded Retail Discount scheme and with a rateable value of less than £51,000:
    • 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 with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000

Because grants are allocated per business property, a single business can receive multiple grants and may receive grants from separate local authorities.