Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Nottingham

Nottinghamshire businesses benefited from £1billion in Covid grants and initiatives

Rushcliffe Borough Council has been nominated for a national award for its Covid grant performance.

More than £1 billion has been offered or provided to Nottinghamshire businesses, traders and councils to tackle the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Loans totalling £566,475,877 were offered to businesses disrupted by lockdowns, including almost £400 million from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Self-employed people eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme also received a total of £202.4 million, spread across three separate tranches.

571 of the county’s restaurants took advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, in August 2020, when meals were subsidised at the expense of the Treasury.

This amounted to almost £5 million in discounted meals across the promotional period.

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The figures came as part of an assessment by the council’s economic development committee, on Tuesday (September 7), when councillors viewed the support package provided to ailing traders.

Documents confirmed grants totalling more than £140 million were distributed to district and borough councils, before then being issued to eligible retail, hospitality, leisure and small businesses.

A further £7.9 million was provided to small and micro businesses not eligible for either the Small Business Grant, or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant.

And an additional £56 million was issued to businesses either forced to close, or disrupted by, the introduction of numerous lockdown measures.

The county’s seven district and borough councils received extra support totalling £21.9 million, provided as a one-off grant based on £20 per head of population, to be used between 2020 and 2022.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director Finance and Corporate Services Pete Linfield said:

“The excellent performance of our revenues and other teams over the last 18 months saw them reach out quickly and effectively to distribute over £40m of central government grant support to hundreds of Rushcliffe businesses who were affected by the pandemic for long periods.

“The work prompted them to be shortlisted for a national award, such was the speed and accuracy of the businesses receiving the funding.

“Managing the impact of the pandemic whilst protecting the public purse will be one of the legacies of COVID-19 here at Rushcliffe along with staff demonstrating they are willing to do whatever it takes and go that extra mile to support businesses.

“We do understand it has been, and remains, a terribly difficult time for many businesses and the wider community but the Council is committed to do what it can to provide necessary support to ensure Rushcliffe remains a great place to live and work.”

Councillor John Wilmott (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North, said: “All the businesses I’ve been involved in, and talking to, have been very grateful for all the work both the county and district councils have done.

“It’s commendable and they say they’re very grateful. But, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up a lot of challenges.

“[The data] outlines the significant support given to businesses across the county, but the question is, do we have any figures on how many businesses in Nottinghamshire didn’t make it past the pandemic?

“I know sole traders based at home were especially vulnerable, as they didn’t qualify for many Government grants, but did many of them reach out, and what continuing support can we give them?”

In response, Matt Neal, service director for investment and growth, said: “We do measure the performance in terms of contacts with local businesses.

“In terms of figures around businesses that have not made it through the pandemic, I haven’t got those figures to hand, but I can certainly bring something back.”

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