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Eligible business owners urged to apply for Covid-19 support grants

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Sheffield City Council is encouraging eligible businesses in Sheffield to apply for support grants, available to help them face the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. Over the past six weeks, the Council has paid out grants to over 6,700 businesses, totalling £80m.

However, although over 7,000 businesses in Sheffield have already applied for the funding, which is designed to help businesses maintain their short-term cash flow during the crisis, there are still a number of eligible businesses in the city who have not yet applied.

The grants are available to any businesses that are already in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR), who will receive a one-off grant of £10,000.

Support grants are also available to rate paying businesses within the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less are eligible for £10,000 while businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, will receive £25,000.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said:

“We know that these support grants have been a lifeline for many businesses during this pandemic, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve now paid 93% of eligible applications we’ve received.

“However we know there are still at least 1,000 businesses out there who could benefit from this help.

“We’re working hard to contact these businesses this week, but I’d also like to encourage people to be proactive in applying.

“There is specific government criteria about who qualifies for the grant, but these are one off payments that businesses don’t need to pay back, so it’s really worth finding out if you are eligible.

“If you are eligible, you can easily submit an application via the council website - you’ll just need to have your business rate account number to hand.

“We don’t want anyone to struggle during this time and we’re working hard to provide advice to businesses and to process applications as quickly as possible.”

Louisa Harrison Walker, Managing Director at Benchmark Recruit, said:

“I’d like to encourage businesses in the region to check their availability, it didn’t occur to me that I would be eligible under the retail hospitality and leisure definition but the criteria is actually wider than you expect.

“It’s an incredibly simple online process with funds typically received within 10-14 days. The Business Sheffield team we’re incredibly helpful and supportive at what must have been a manic and frantic time.

“This grant just gives our business the breathing space needed to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our staff, they like others can be safe at home while the dust settles and businesses adapt to a new reality and plan how to move forward. “

Businesses can access the Government’s eligibility information and apply for the Support Grants directly on the Sheffield City Council website, but are urged to include their business rate account number, which can be found on the top right corner of their latest council issued business rates bill.

Supplying this account number is essential in order for applications to be processed in the quickest possible time.
Applications submitted to the Council are processed usually within 10 working days if all the required supporting information is provided and correct.

Gary Sinclair, Managing Director of Maggie May’s, said:

“The business support grant ensured we had the finance in place to honour, in full, all outstanding payments to every single supplier to our bar (which was greatly appreciated), and to allow us to maintain our existing commitments now and in the future.”

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