Cash lifeline for Northumberland businesses
03 Apr 2020
Northumberland County Council has paid out over £20 million to help almost 2,000 small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, and is appealing for others to register as quickly as possible.
Over 4,000 businesses have now registered online with the council, with the first tranche of payments now being paid out, and further payments of up to £25,000 landing in their bank accounts in the next few days.
These payments will help support small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Cllr Peter Jackson, leader of the Council said: “The coronavirus crisis is having an impact on businesses right across Northumberland. The Council is doing everything it can to support them, provide funding and protect our economy through such an unprecedented time.
“Our immediate priority is to protect as many businesses and jobs as possible, so that we are in a good position for a strong recovery when the time comes.
“We have established the Northumberland Business Hub - helping people to access available support, providing advice and guidance, and finding out what the key issues are for the business community in the county.
“This dedicated team is there to guide businesses through these most difficult of times and make sure they are getting all the support they need, and over 600 have already been in touch for advice.”
Several schemes have been made available by Government for councils to administer. This includes grants of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief. Whilst businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector are eligible for a grant of £25,000 if they occupy a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, and a grant of £10,000 if the rateable value is below £15,000.
Northumberland County Council is urging those who meet the eligibility criteria, and haven’t contacted them yet, to register their details online as soon as possible at www.northumberland.gov.uk/businessshub
Teams at the council are verifying each registration and processing payments within five to 10 working days, ensuring that all eligible businesses get fast access to funding.
Cllr Jackson continued: “Many businesses are understandably feeling overwhelmed by the financial challenges they are facing, and we are committed to supporting them as much as we possibly can at this challenging time.
“Support available can be confusing, and we urge businesses to get in touch if they are unsure, so that we can help them to access funding and the right support as quickly as we can.”
The Northumberland Business Hub support web pages include details of all of the schemes and initiatives that businesses may be able to access and what other support may be available. This includes signposting to the national schemes introduced by the Chancellor including the British Business Bank loans of up to £5 million, the commitment to cover 80% of retained workers’ salaries to stop job losses and delays to VAT payments.
For those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses who pay business rates, they will also be able to benefit from a 12-month payment holiday next year. They will receive a revised bill confirming that no payment is due for 2020/21 however the council is asking that they do not cancel their direct debit. No payments will be charged.
Advice and further information for businesses is available at: www.northumberland.gov.uk/businesshub