The Voice in your Community
Over 1,000 Moorlands businesses have received more than £12.2 million pounds in grant funding to help them through the Coronavirus emergency – with hundreds more set for pay outs in the coming days.
The District Council is processing applications for the Government’s small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grant funds and has received £25 million to distribute.
There are over 2,000 eligible businesses in the district and staff from across the Council have been contacting them by phone and email to encourage them to complete the claim form on our website to access the funding.
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Finance, said: “The impact of Covid-19 on businesses is unprecedented and we know that the grants available to help people through this period are critical.
“We’ve received a huge number of applications and we’ve already paid almost £12.3 million to more than 1,000 companies across the Moorlands.
“We’re working hard to check and process all the applications and it can take up to ten working days for grants to be received but I want to reassure businesses that we know what these grants mean to their futures and we’re working as quickly as we possibly can. I’d also like to thank people for their patience whilst we work through this process.”
One recipient, Leek business owner Yvonne Barlow, said the grants were important not just to her and her employees but to her suppliers as well.
She said: “I run spa and beauty businesses which have obviously had to be closed at the present time so the grants are just so helpful. It means I can pay my suppliers and I can offer support to my staff who I have had to furlough for the time being.
“The process for applying was very easy – I completed the form on the Council’s website which, speaking as someone who didn’t grow up with technology and isn’t great at it, wasn’t difficult at all.”
The business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year was also welcomed by Mrs Barlow – particularly in helping her plan for a time when businesses like hers are able to re-open.
She said: “Even though we know we will re-open at some point, and we’re very much looking forwarding to seeing our clients again, it will take time to build up the business so we need this support and it is very welcome indeed.”
And for hairdresser Ann Hayne receiving a grant has made the difference between whether to continue in business or not when restrictions are lifted.
She said: “I didn’t expect to receive any financial help like this so it was such a nice surprise to get the call from the Council. I’ve been in business in Leek for 45 years now and I was wondering if I should re-open when this is over.
“This has made my decision for me and given me the incentive to go again – it will be so good to welcome my regulars back, and new customers too, when we can.”
Councillor Ralphs added: “It’s good to hear from local business people about the real difference these grants are making to their plans and I would urge any eligible local businesses that have not done so to get in touch via the Council website and make their application.”
The Coronavirus Information Hub – www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/Coronavirus - has lots more information about the support available to businesses and residents.