Public Sector

What Stroud firms need to know about £26m to help them survive Covid-19

Written by: Bobby Wildgoose | Posted 23 April 2020 12:15

What Stroud firms need to know about £26m to help them survive Covid-19

Cash to the total of £26 million has been made available to Stroud District Council to distribute to businesses to them keep afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The first payments of £6.2million to 621 businesses were paid at the start of this week and payments are expected to be made daily. 

Approximately £10million has been paid by today (Wednesday, April 8). 

The grants are being made from two funds:

* Business Support Grant Fund

All businesses occupying a property and are in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11 March 2020 (including those who receive tapered relief) will receive a grant of £10,000.

* Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund.

Businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property. 

For eligible businesses occupying properties with rateable values on 11 March 2020 of:

* £15,000 or less the grant is £10,000

* £15,001 to £51,000 the grant is £25,000

The Government has applied criteria that the grants are only payable to businesses which have a business rates account - every business eligible for a grant payment has been identified. 

If you are unsure whether your business qualifies, there is further information here: www.stroud.gov.uk/business/business-rates 

In a number of cases we are able to make payments directly, for example where businesses pay their business rates by direct debit. 

However, in some cases we will need to take bank account details in order to make a payment. If this applies to your business, please submit your details on our online portal on this page: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/health-wellbeing/coronavirus/businesses-and-employers 

Businesses unable to use the portal are asked to email the business name and address along with the account reference (if known) and a contact telephone number to business.rates@stroud.gov.uk, or to call 01453 766321. 

In addition, the district council said it had been givenguidanceregardinga business rates discount for children’s nurseries – this applies to properties occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

“We are currently identifying businesses that fall under the scheme and will shortly issue revised bills. There is no need to contact the council if this applies to your business,” said a statement from the district council. 

Doina Cornell, leader of the district council, said: Clearly this is a very, very difficult time for many businesses and we are acutely aware of the need to make these payments quickly. 

“Our staff are working hard to make the payments to all eligible businesses as soon as possible.” 

Stroud District Council stressed it was working closely with GFirst LEP. 

The local enterprise partnership for Gloucestershire. Is said to be leading the provision of support for businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. 

To find out more visit www.gfirstlep.com/news/coronavirus-updates for up-to-date news, advice and support that is available for businesses. 

The Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund come under state aid funding. Business which exceed the associated limits will be required to repay the grant funding. 

More information can be found on the Governments State Aid page here www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid 

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