Help for Suffolk firms from councils during coronavirus crisis

Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced new packages for business which are now being rolled out by

Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced new packages for business which are now being rolled out by councils. Picture: PIPPA FOWLES/CROWN COPYRIGHT/10 DOWNING STREET/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

Councils across Suffolk are this week writing to small businesses to invite them to apply for support from government schemes during the coronavirus crisis.

Ipswich council has begun paying firms which qualify for business grants.

It estimates there are just over 2,000 business in the borough that qualify for funding from either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Around 1,750 business should receive £10,000 and around 250 should receive £25,000.

On Wednesday the council received the funding from government to make these payments. Letters have gone out to over 2,000 businesses telling them what they need to do to get the money – basically complete an online form. So far, more than 850 (43%) have done so.


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More than 120 businesses have now received nearly £1.5m between them.

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Meanwhile the borough has sent out just over 1,200 letters to businesses that qualify for full business rates relief for 2020/21 in the ‘retail, hospitality and leisure’ sectors.

If you haven’t yet received a letter from the council and believe your business qualifies, apply online here. Check first that the council has updated its procedures so it is paying all invoices from suppliers within seven days to support businesses during this difficult time.

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Babergh, Mid Suffolk councils are also urging businesses to apply for the grants and are sending those eligible letters with details of how to make an application.

Michael Holt, Babergh Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “These are incredibly difficult times for many businesses, and we urge large and small business owners, as well as the self-employed, to investigate and apply for the financial support available to them in order to see them through this challenging time caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk’s deputy leader, said: “There is a host of support and guidance available for all businesses and I would ask businesses to seek advice either from general business specialists such as the New Anglia Growth Hub, but also their own professional bodies who may have specific advice.”

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