2700 business properties in Sunderland have already received grants as part of the Government’s Small Business Grants Scheme. In total, more than £30,360,000 has made its way to small businesses in the area.
In recognition of the extraordinary pressures facing small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, the Government launched the Small Business Grants Scheme, backed by £12.3 billion. The funding is provided to local authorities, who are then able to offer grants of up to £10,000 to small businesses, and up to £25,000 for eligible leisure, retail and hospitality businesses. Since the scheme’s launch in March, £6.1 billion has already been paid out to 491,725 business properties across England, including 2700 in Sunderland.
In total, Sunderland has been provided with £52,858,000, which could help as many as 4317 businesses in the local area.
The Government is providing a huge and unprecedented package of support to help small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, including:
- Helping to pay people’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including for more than a million people who are employed by the 140,000 businesses which applied for the scheme in the first day alone.
- Introducing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to provide loans of up to £5 million, interest-free for 12 months, to small businesses.
- Taking all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses out of business rates altogether for the next year.
- Helping small and medium-sized businesses with the cost of paying Statutory Sick Pay for employees off because of COVID-19.
Commenting, Cllr Robert Oliver said:
“This is a hugely challenging time for businesses, especially for the smaller firms that are at the heart of our local community in Sunderland.
“It’s hugely reassuring to know that the support announced by the Government has already reached 2700 businesses in Sunderland and is helping to protect businesses and people’s livelihoods. However, we would urge the council to expedite the process to help other businesses in Sunderland who desperately need this support”.
“The Government is determined to ensure that people get the support they need to do the right thing – to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives – without having to worry about losing their jobs or not being able to pay their bills.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
“I am very grateful to local authorities who have been working flat out to ensure these vital funds get to hard-pressed small business owners. Government is doing everything we can to support individual councils and help ensure that these grants reach local firms as soon as possible. I urge everyone to keep working at pace to get the money where it is needed quickly.”