The council has now paid government cash grants to 2,548 local businesses totalling £27.9m. This has reached 84% of all eligible businesses in the district. *
There are still more businesses that qualify who have yet to apply. The council is working hard to make contact with these organisations to tell them about the grants and point them towards the online form. Obviously some of these will be uncontactable or closed but the team has managed to speak to 343 businesses in just over a week, in an effort to ensure everyone that is eligible to receive funding gets it.
Businesses being supported by government grants during the COVID-19 crisis have praised the council for the help they have received during this difficult time.
Rosemary Pretty from Cliftonville Bowling Club said:
“We weren’t aware of the business support grant until someone from the council called. It has been a lifeline and is much appreciated. We would like to thank all those who have been working behind the scenes to process the money so efficiently to help small businesses like us.”
Karen Evans from Bessie’s Tea Parlour, Broadstairs added:
“Thanet District Council has been very efficient in a really challenging time for us – quick business grant transfer and a very welcome call to see if my mum was ok as a vulnerable person after her stroke.”
Cllr Rob Yates, Cabinet Member for Finance at Thanet District Council said:
“The team has dealt with 2,534 enquiries since the 12th March and I have seen first hand the excellent work that is going on behind the scenes. We are trying to make contact with the remaining businesses through a variety of means to let them know about these grants.
“There are hundreds of qualifying businesses in Thanet that are yet to apply. To make a claim is free and we would love it if you can get in contact with your local business owners to ensure they don’t miss out. We need them to fill out an online form to get the funding they’re entitled to.”
Currently the following grants are in place to support businesses:
- A small business grant of £10,000 for businesses from any sector with a rateable value of £15,000 or below. To qualify they must have been receiving Small Business Rates Relief and need to provide a bank statement from the past three months.
- Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000.
Businesses can check the council’s website and see if they are eligible for the grants. If so, they must provide all of the information that the Government has asked for as that will speed up the processing of their application. Claimants will receive an automated email once their application is received. If you’re a business that is still unsure if you could benefit, please contact the Business Rates Team: email@example.com
On 2 May, the government announced that a discretionary top up fund will be available for councils to administer locally. Government guidance on this new scheme is expected to be published this week (w/c 11 May 2020). Examples cited include businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charities and bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax rather than business rates. Early preparations have begun and, once details are published, the council will design an application process and set out the qualifying criteria on its website.
*Accurate as of Thursday 7 May, 2020- £27,985,000