Business grant funding tops £20m as local firms seek Covid-19 help
Posted on 27 May 2020
NORTH Ayrshire Council has helped distribute over £20 million to local businesses and newly self-employed people since lockdown was introduced at the end of the March.
The figure was reached this week as the Council’s Revenues and Business teams continue to administer and process Business Support Grant and Hardship applications.
The £10,000 and £25,000 Business grants were introduced by the UK Government to mitigate for loss of income with businesses across the country closed down to slow the spread of Covid-19. More recently this was followed by a Phase 2 of the scheme and a £2,000 hardship grant to support those newly self-employed on or after 6 April 2019.
Local authorities across the country have been tasked with dealing with the applications – and ultimately providing the lifeline financial support.
In North Ayrshire, they have worked tirelessly to turn around hundreds of applications as quickly as possible and respond to the cash crisis that local people and businesses were facing when they had to suddenly stopped trading during the lockdown.
The Council will continue to provide advice and support to businesses eligible to apply for COVID crisis funding and those seeking help to restart their business. Our new Community Wealth Building Strategy provides a vision of how the Council, partners, businesses and communities can move forward in the weeks, months and years to come.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Firstly, a massive thanks to all the staff who have been working tirelessly to make sure our businesses are supported during this. The grant process has been a huge undertaking for the team as they have went through around 2000 applications.
“We are not only going through a public health crisis but also an economic one. The unprecedented shutdown of the economy has presented huge risks and challenges for businesses and the grants hopefully offer a short-term lifeline.
“Moving forward however the economic challenges will not disappear as the lockdown is eased. Many businesses will remain in a distressed state and even in the best case scenario, some economic activity will not return. Even pre-Covid, the North Ayrshire economy was too fragile and that’s why we felt it was absolutely the right time to launch our Community Wealth Building Strategy. It’s time to be bold and radical – our economy has been broken for decades. This pandemic just highlights and shines a light on our issues.
“Our Strategy is online and I’d encourage local businesses, community group or anyone for that matter to take the opportunity to learn more about it. The whole point of Community Wealth Building is that we all work together to make the best of our resources and to share the wealth locally. We’ve already has conversation with interested parties and we would welcome continued engagement from the private and third sector as we enter into the recovery phase.”
Details about the Business Grants and self-employed hardship funding can be found here.
Our Community Wealth Building Strategy can be found here