Council makes first coronavirus payments

Businesses have been forced to close for what could be months as the Government tries to control the

Businesses have been forced to close for what could be months as the Government tries to control the coronavirus spread Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk Council has announced it is making its first payments totalling more than £3 million to businesses hit by the coronavirus.

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

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

Pay-outs to businesses eligible for the government’s Small Business Grant Fund were due to be paid today, alongside £34m of Business Rate Relief.

So far the council says it has contacted 1,600 eligible businesses and has had forms back from 382, for which it is now processing immediate payments that will total £3,820,000.

It will be processing payments daily as more forms are returned.

There remains around another 700 businesses eligible for the grant, which the council is continuing to try to contact.


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The council said it had processed a total of £34.7 million Business Rate Relief, which had been its priority.

But from Monday April 6, work would begin with 650 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector to identify which were eligible for grants of £10,000 or £25,000 depending on their rateable value.

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John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We appreciate businesses are anxious to get this support as quickly as possible.

MORE: Markets close as council staff redeployed“We have made getting this grant and rate relief support to businesses a priority.

“The £3.82m that we are paying to small businesses this Friday is just the start. We have many more that we have contacted and are in the process of sending back their forms. We will be processing these payments daily.

“Of course, as a council we have had to make some tough decisions on the work that we prioritise to support businesses, communities and essential services, and of course our own staff, and I would like to thank everyone for their understanding.

”We are all in this together, we are working to support people through this nightmare, and we will come through this challenge.”

For more details go to the council’s website.

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