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£56million in Coronavirus support given to local businesses

October 17, 2020 6:22 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Cllr Michael HeadleyFigures released by Bedford Borough Council show that it has awarded £56million of support to local businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and restrictions.

This includes £29.5million in cash grants and £26.5million in relief from paying business rates, provided by the Government to support local businesses during the pandemic and administered by the Council.

When the business support grant scheme was brought to an end nationally on 30 September, Bedford Borough Council had provided cash grants totalling £29.5million to over 2,600 businesses. Over 2,000 businesses received grants of £10,000 each, while a further nearly 300 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses received grants of £25,000 each.

This £29.5million also includes a discretionary grant fund, which the Council used to award grants from £250 to £10,000 to over 300 smaller businesses that would not otherwise automatically have received business support.

Alongside these grants retail, leisure and hospitality businesses were given a business rates holiday by the Government as the body that sets business rates. In total, the Council has now awarded £26.5million in business rate relief to over 950 businesses.

Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance said "Lockdown had a huge impact with many local businesses required to close, or follow restrictions to keep themselves and our communities safe. This funding offered a lifeline for businesses to keep going and we worked hard to make sure that as many Bedford Borough businesses as possible received this financial support. Council staff and councillors made extra efforts to make sure that businesses eligible for this government support were tracked down and contacted by whatever means possible, even when the premises were closed, so that they didn't miss out".

If anyone is having difficulty in paying business rates, they are urged to get in touch with the Council. Find out more at www.bedford.gov.uk.