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Council thanked as 1,034 businesses receive £13.415m in coronavirus payments

Posted onPosted on 8th Apr

Businesses have praised Newark and Sherwood District Council for its speedy response in assisting with cash support to help them through the coronavirus crisis.

Hundreds of businesses have already received grants promised by central government, which had initially been financed by the district council recognising the urgent need.

As of 8th April, the council had paid out £13.415m in grants to 1,034 businesses across the district, using its own resources by reprioritising its cash flow, ahead of being reimbursed by central government.

Denise Starkey, who runs Gracegentle, which sells home accessories and giftware in Middlegate, Newark, said that the funds had enabled her to keep staff on, pay suppliers and to put things in place for when they re-open again.

She said: “This has given us much-needed breathing space. The council has been fantastic in sorting out this financial support. I completed my online form last Wednesday and funds were in the business account Friday. This was an absolutely tremendous effort and NSDC is definitely ahead of the game against other councils when I talk to my business friends outside of the Newark and Sherwood district.”

Nigel Catt, from letsXcape immersive experiences, which is based at Kelham Hall and Country Park, near Newark, said: “I would thank the district council, for the speed at which it has handled the issuing of business grants to all those affected in the district.”

Helen Netherwood, of Home Bake, Southwell, added: “My heartfelt thanks to the department responsible for getting the Covid-19 grants out to all the eligible small businesses. I have received mine and it is a massive relief. From talking to friends around the country, I know many councils have not even started the process yet so the speed that NSDC has done this is truly amazing.”

Coun David Lloyd, leader of the district council, said: “We recognised the importance in ensuring businesses received the support they need at the very earliest opportunity. It is no use to many for the process to be long and drawn out – they needed the money and our finance and revenues and benefits teams have done a superb job. This will continue so that we can ensure help is directed to those that need it.

“We would encourage those small businesses that are entitled to support and which have not yet completed the online form to do so as soon as possible. For those that have completed the forms, we are working through these as a priority to ensure swift payment.”

There are three types of support for businesses which were announced at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Firstly, a £10,000 grant per business property in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief or secondly, a £10,000 grant per business property in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Sector with rateable value of £15k or less at March 11, 2020 (If businesses fall within both categories 1 and 2 above, the maximum grant eligible will be £10,000). Thirdly, a £25,000 grant per business property is payable to businesses in the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Sector with a rateable value of more than £15k but less than £51k as of March 11, 2020. Funds are initially paid out by the District Council which will be reimbursed by central government.

The Council is also working hard to provide additional assistance to those of working age who are in receipt of help from the Council Tax Support Scheme and they will receive further support for the forthcoming Council Tax year.