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West Suffolk businesses offered £66m to help fight coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 05:30 26 March 2020

Grants and rate relief totalling £66 million are being made available to businesses in west Suffolk. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Grants and rate relief totalling £66 million are being made available to businesses in west Suffolk. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

(c) Stockbyte

Grants and rate relief totalling £66 million are being offered to businesses across west Suffolk to help get them through the coronavirus crisis.

John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIJohn Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

West Suffolk Council will be inviting them to apply for grants of up to £10,000 from a £32 million government pot to be paid after April 1, while £34 million in business rate relief will also be made available.

The council is to contact an estimated 2,300 eligible businesses encouraging and supporting them to apply for the grants under the government’s Small Business Grants Fund.

It will also contact the business owners of another 610 properties that are eligible as part of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund, which offers grants of £10,000 and £25,000 depending on rateable value.

Businesses with multiple outlets will be eligible for more than one grant.

Eligible businesses will also qualify for business rates relief.

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John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council said: “These are challenging times, but we stand ready to work with and support our businesses to help them survive and adapt to this unprecedented challenge and the huge pressure that it places on them and us all.

“We’ve been listening to business concerns, helping people find where the support is available, and over the next few weeks we will be encouraging and supporting thousands of West Suffolk businesses to take up some £32m in business grants.

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“We are already helping hundreds of businesses save millions of pounds through rate relief – the rate relief for retail, leisure, hospitality and pubs is being applied automatically and represents a further £34m of support.

“We are also actively considering further measures that the council can take to support businesses and will announce these later.

MORE: How Suffolk’s councils have stepped up to fight coronavirus

“Our priority is to keep everyone as safe as possible, while listening and talking to businesses, providing advice and most crucially ensuring that we get the grants to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

“This is an international emergency and an extraordinary time but we in West Suffolk, and our communities including local businesses have a strong tradition of working together and it is this ethos that will see us pull through, and indeed thrive once this present crisis has passed.”

Alongside this the council has also agreed £50,000 towards funding Bury St Edmunds and Beyond Destination Management Organisation in its work to promote the area to visitors once the COVID19 pandemic has been overcome.

The council has set up a webpage directing businesses to the various support that is available.

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