Council works flat out to support businesses
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Telford & Wrekin Council has been going the extra mile to support businesses in the borough hit by the coronavirus pandemic, processing almost £60 million in grants and rate relief to businesses.
The Council is believed to be among the first in England to complete and close its own discretionary grant fund to businesses, after this was fully subscribed.
As well as helping residents and communities, one of the Council’s first responses to the pandemic was to set up a special Business Helpline for support and advice to borough businesses on 01952 383838.
In total, the Council’s Business Support Team had over 5,100 contacts with businesses on how to access grants, apply for business rates relief, benefit from loan support and many other schemes to help firms through this difficult time.
One of the Council’s priorities has been to process as fast as possible applications for Government’s business support grants, including the Council’s own Discretionary Grant Scheme.
The Council has been promoting these grants widely and contacting eligible businesses to encourage them to apply.
It has also written twice to all businesses in the borough (in March and again, in June) promoting the support available to them.
In total, the Council has paid £28.5m in national business support grants to 2,395 businesses. It has also distributed £1.4m of funding under the Discretionary Grant Scheme.
This puts Telford & Wrekin Council among the leading councils in the country for getting these business support grants paid out to as quickly as possible.
Cabinet Lead for Finance, Councillor Rae Evans said: “I want to thank all our Business Support and Revenues Teams who have worked their socks off to get these grants and rate relief to businesses so quickly.
”It’s down to their commitment and long hours work that we’ve managed to help so many businesses, approve such a high number of grants applications so far and do so at pace.
“However, we are deeply disappointed that our Discretionary Business Grant Scheme, was able to help only a relatively small number of businesses who had fallen through the cracks, because the amount we’ve received from Government simply wasn’t enough to meet demand.
“We’ve extended the criteria for this grant’s scheme beyond Government’s priority list, meaning many more borough businesses could get much needed support but with only £1.4m of grant available, the fund has now been fully subscribed.
“We know some businesses (including the self-employed) face a really serious financial challenge.
“Our focus now is on lobbying the Government for more help for those who have still fallen through the cracks, so that we can re-open our Discretionary Fund as soon as possible, to help more businesses.”
Details of the support available to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic are at www.telford.gov.uk/coronavirus
The Council’s Business Support hotline continues to operate – anyone who wants to access the latest information and talk to a member of the Business Support Team can call 01952 383838, between 9am to 5pm weekdays.