Colchester Borough Council has awarded £20 million to support over 50% of local businesses eligible for the Government’s Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant from 1 April 2020. The grants were announced last month, under the Government’s response to COVID-19.
Last month, £42 million was given to the council by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Since then, the council has been working hard to identify and distribute the funding as quickly as possible.
Councillor David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “Distributing funding to over 50% of eligible businesses in just one week is fantastic progress, swifter than many other councils, with 1500 individual grants already processed, while also providing the best advice the council can to the many businesses seeking help.
“However, we know the many difficulties businesses and their employees face as the coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the country and we will work hard to distribute the remaining grants to local businesses by 1 May 2020.”
Councillor David King is also lending his support to the Gazette’s #BackingEssexBusinesses campaign, which showcases the efforts of local businesses going above and beyond to help tackle COVID-19 and support residents.
Cllr King added: “The business community is facing an extremely difficult and challenging time right now, so it’s great that there is a platform to be able to showcase all of the innovative ways they are coping and ensure businesses can continue to operate.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to support and back Essex businesses. This Council will play its full part, with more details as soon as we can of our plans for post lock down recovery.”
In addition, the council has begun writing newsletter bulletins to organisations representing local businesses, which is sent out when any new information, advice and guidance becomes available. Business organisations are encouraged to forward this newsletter to their business contacts and to use it as a resource, whenever the situation changes.
To find out more about eligibility for Grants or Relief, please visit www.colchester.gov.uk/
The council still needs information from some businesses in order to award grants, please read the information online and email your details to businessrates@colchester.