April 6, 2020 @ 12:12 by Alison Cowie
Northumberland County Council has now paid out over £36 million to help over 3200 small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, and is appealing for others to register as soon as possible.
More than 4400 businesses have registered online with the council, with the second tranche of payments now being paid out, and further payments of up to £25,000 landing in bank accounts in the next few days.
These payments will help support small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Cllr Peter Jackson, leader of the Council (pictured), said: “Our teams have been working flat out to get registrations processed and grants paid out to eligible businesses and I applaud their efforts.
“There are further grants in process and they will be paid as quickly as possible.
“We also urge any further businesses who think they might be eligible to get in touch and register on the website as soon as they can, so that we can help them access these vital funds.
“As a council we are doing everything that we can to support businesses – providing advice and guidance, and finding out what the key issues are for the business community in the county, so that these can be addressed.”
Several schemes have been made available by the Government for local authorities to administer. This includes grants of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief.
While businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector are eligible for a grant of £25,000 if they occupy a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, and a grant of £10,000 if the rateable value is below £15,000.
The council is urging those who meet the eligibility criteria, and haven’t contacted them yet, to register their details online as soon as possible at www.northumberland.gov.uk/businessshub
Teams at the council are verifying each registration and processing payments within five to ten working days from approval, ensuring that all eligible businesses get fast access to funding.
For those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who pay business rates, they will also be able to benefit from a 12-month payment holiday next year. They will receive a revised bill confirming that no payment is due for 2020/21 however the council is asking that they do not cancel their direct debit. No payments will be charged.
The Northumberland Business Hub support web pages include details of all of the schemes and initiatives that businesses may be able to access and what other support may be available.