Harwich Town Council

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Council Standing By To Give Out Business Support Grants Once Detail Is Announced

Details are beginning to emerge of additional Government support for businesses affected by Coronavirus – and Tendring District Council (TDC) is standing by to hand out grants as soon as it can.

The Government recently announced plans to extend the raft of grants available, recognising that a number of businesses fall outside of existing schemes which are based around business rates for certain sectors.

Full details are not expected until next week (week commencing 11 May), but early indications from the Government suggest support will be predominantly aimed at businesses which occupy shared or flexible office space and do not pay rates themselves, regular market traders, small charity properties which would otherwise qualify for Small Business Rates Relief and also bed and breakfasts which pay council tax, rather than business rates.

National criteria will govern the scheme, which will take into account fixed building costs and the level of income loss suffered due to Covid-19. Funding is expected to be on a sliding scale, rather than fixed amounts as the current schemes are.

The Government has also indicated that businesses eligible for the existing small business grant scheme or the self-employed income support scheme will not be able access the new initiative.

TDC has a team set up ready to process and get the grants out as quickly as possible.

Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said the new scheme was likely to be more complex to administer but recognised businesses needed support quickly.

“We understand just how difficult this pandemic is for businesses, and how quickly they will need financial support as and when it becomes available,” Cllr Stock said.

“Although we cannot start paying out grants until we receive full details of the scheme, and adapt our processes accordingly, I want to reassure Tendring firms that we will get the money out as quickly as possible.

“I would also appeal for your help to spread the word. Though we will try to contact businesses who may be eligible, it is recommended that companies keep up-to-date with the scheme via our website at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/coronavirus.

“Alongside supporting our vulnerable residents, we want to do as much as we can to help our economy. We have already paid out £25.6million to businesses – around three-quarters of those thought to be eligible – under the existing schemes, and want to get that figure as high as possible across all the support initiatives available.”