West Norfolk businesses eligible for grant help need to move quickly or miss out.

The borough council has paid out £26,815,000 to 2,272 businesses following funding introduced by the government to help during the pandemic.

But the remaining money has to be paid by the end of the month. More than 800 reminder letters have gone to businesses still to claim.

The package includes support for small businesses, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and takes the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The first grants were paid out on March 31 and, provided businesses supply all the information required, payments can normally be processed within two working days.

Graham Middleton, cabinet member for business development, said: “Each grant is worth either £10,000 or £25,000. We hope by getting these grants out quickly it will really help those businesses cope through these unprecedented times.

“We are currently working our way through verification forms submitted on April 8, so most payments are being made within about seven working days of receiving the application. However, there are some delays to payments when we don’t have the correct evidence uploaded with the verification form.

“It is vital that the forms are completed fully, with bank account details, and that evidence of that bank account is then included.

“We understand how tough it is for everyone, and we want to ensure the businesses are getting the help they are entitled to as quickly as possible.

“Anyone who hasn’t registered for one of the grants should go to
west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on business assistance page to check their eligibility.”

Businesses that qualify for the Expanded Retail Discount or Day Nursery Discount should have received new zero bills, meaning they do not need to pay any business rates for 2020/2021.

Under these schemes 1,097 businesses in West Norfolk have received a total in business rates relief of £21,301,459.

See online: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support