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£23 million paid out in business support grants so far, says West Norfolk Council

Almost 2,000 West Norfolk businesses have so far received support grants to help them through the coronavirus crisis, according to borough council chiefs.

The authority says it has paid out more than £23 million so far under the government scheme intended to help firms survive the pandemic.

And officials are urging companies who haven’t already sought support to do so soon.

GV of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (2744084)
GV of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn. (2744084)

A total of 1,991 companies have so far received support from either the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, which are administered by West Norfolk Council.

The funds are among initiatives announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, last month, in a bid to prevent businesses collapsing during the pandemic.

The council says it has allocated £23.675 million so far in grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 a time.

The total equates to around 57 per cent of the total funding available and officials hope as much funding as possible will be distributed by the end of April.

Graham Middleton, the authority’s cabinet member for business development, said: “We hope that by getting these grants out quickly it will really help those businesses cope through these unprecedented times.”

Mr Middleton said most payments are being made within around seven working day of applications being received.

However, he also urged firms to ensure they upload the required information to go with their applications in order to prevent delays in processing.

He added: “Anyone that hasn’t yet registered for one of the above grants should go to our webpage west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on business assistance page to check their eligibility for a grant and to complete the online verification form as soon as possible.

“We don’t want businesses missing out on support to which they are entitled.”

Meanwhile, the council says that more 1,000 businesses who qualify for business rate holidays in the new financial year should now have received zero bills.

The authority says the total relief given to the enterprises affected runs to more than £21 million.

Stuart Dark, the council’s cabinet member for emergency planning, said officials had worked “tirelessly” to process the schemes.

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