April 20, 2020 @ 11:48 by Alison Cowie
Newcastle City Council is urging all businesses who haven’t yet registered for grants to see them through the coronavirus crisis to check eligibility and sign up as quickly as possible.
More than 3000 businesses have received nearly £40 million from Newcastle City Council to help keep businesses trading but there are many more – around a third of eligible businesses – which have yet to apply.
Grants of £10,000 or £25,000 are available for businesses who receive small business rate relief and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The grants are cash the government has set aside to help small businesses and does not need to be paid back. All remaining eligible businesses who haven’t registered for grants should register online at www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport for fast access to funding made available from the Government.
One of the businesses which has benefited from the scheme is software company Nebula Labs, based in the city centre. Co-founder, Dylan McKee, said: “We recently received the Government’s small business rates relief and COVID-19 relief grant from Newcastle City Council.
“I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the process so far; it’s been fast and really efficient and only a minor number of forms to fill in which has been really good as a busy SME manager at this time.
“Having the grant processed so quickly has been beneficial and allowed us to pay our suppliers and our city centre rent on time. And early on many occasions to our suppliers, which is good as many of our suppliers are regional SME’s themselves or freelancers and it’s good to keep their cashflow going.
“It’s also been great to be able to spend some of the grant on being able to afford further business development time so we come up with a plan to be able to get through these tough times and look ahead and work out how our business can change over the next few months to be more compatible with the new normal that we now live in, with distributed working, working remotely and working from home.
“So, thanks to the council team for really great work on the efficient processing of the grant money.”
Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council added: “We’re committed to providing fast access to grants to help businesses like Dylan’s get through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Coronavirus isn’t just a health crisis, it’s also an economic crisis. We’re here to help businesses get through these difficult times and to protect our local economy, protect jobs and protect the future of our city.
“We are concerned that a number of businesses are yet to take advantage of the support available, so I’m urging all businesses to get in touch online so we can get these vital funds to your business. Our business support teams are processing applications as quickly as they can, typically within five to ten working days.
“We know these are difficult times for businesses but we’re here for you. Please don’t struggle in silence. Get in touch and we’ll get through this together.”
For further information about business support and to register for support visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport