One of the first measures announced by the Government to combat the effects of Covid-19 was the payment of support grants to eligible small businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.
Now new figures released by the Government show that businesses in the Ribble Valley have received more than £14.2 million in grant payments, with another £4.7 million still to be allocated.
Local councils around the country are responsible for administering their own grant schemes, and both Ribble Valley Borough Council and South Ribble Borough Council have stepped up to the plate to ensure that businesses can get the support they need as quickly as possible.
RVBC have paid out grants so far to 78% of the eligible businesses in the borough, placing them 24th out of 314 local authorities across the UK in terms of speed and efficiency of payments.
SRBC are also working incredibly hard to get the grants to businesses as quickly as possible, and have paid out over £10.7 million in grant payments, with another £10 million to be allocated. So far SRBC have paid out grants to 63% of eligible businesses, placing them 168th out of the 314 local authorities.
MP for the Ribble Valley constituency Nigel Evans said:
"I'm thrilled to see the hard data on the speed at which grants are being processed for businesses. For many businesses these grants will be a lifeline to enable them to get through the current crisis. I know that both RVBC and SRBC are working as quickly as possible to process the rest of the grant applications, and I pay tribute to their work so far in supporting the local community".
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said:
“Our staff are working hard to process grants under the Government's Covid-19 business support schemes.
“We have already paid £14.2million in grants to around 78 per cent of local businesses that meet the Government's eligibility criteria.
“This is a tremendous achievement, given that we are dealing with large sums of money per grant and need to carry out checks to ensure we are paying the correct businesses.”
Detailed information on support for businesses, advice on managing your business during the outbreak, your responsibilities as an employer and sector-specific guidance on social distancing, is available at gov.uk.