Businesses eligible for grants to help during the Coronavirus pandemic can now go online to claim their funding.
A package of measures to provide support for businesses was announced by Government last week, including not only the grants but also a business rates holiday for qualifying businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. It is estimated that this overall support package for Richmond businesses is worth around £80m.
Small businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief and have a rateable value of under £15,000 are eligible for a £10,000 grant, with a few exclusions such as properties occupied for personal uses and car parking spaces. In Richmond upon Thames this will provide £15m of support for small businesses.
A second grant scheme focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for businesses that do not receive Small Business Rate Relief, but instead are eligible for the expanded Retail Discount scheme. This second scheme will pay a grant of £25,000 to qualifying businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. It is thought that this funding will provide a further £30m of support to local businesses.
The Council has written to all the eligible businesses we have been able to identify for these grants, outlining how they can claim this funding.
However, conscious that many of the letters will be sent directly to businesses who have temporarily suspended trading, information and applications are now available online.
The webpages include information about other business support available.
Once a claim has been made, the Council will work as quickly as possible to process these important grants and payment will be made as soon as we receive the funds from Government. Updates on progress will be uploaded to the Council’s website and we will not be able to give individual updates over the phone.
Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance and Resources at Richmond Council, said:
“This is a crucial time for many local businesses that are facing serious hardship and an uncertain future because of this health crisis.
“We know that many businesses are desperate for support and we pledge to disperse these funds as soon as they are available from the Government.
“We are all pulling together to support businesses as they face significant disruption as a consequence of the coronavirus and these new grants will provide essential support for businesses while this period of uncertainty continues.”
– from a Richmond Council press release - 27 March 2020