MORE than 500 Barrow businesses affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic have applied for government grants within days of the scheme being launched. Members of a dedicated team at Barrow Borough Council are now working to verify and process the information supplied so payments can be made as quickly as possible. The authority has confirmed around £980,000 has been transferred directly to businesses since Monday, April 6.
Councillor Ann Thomson, Barrow Borough Council leader, said: “I am really pleased that this crucial funding is reaching businesses here so quickly. “Within days of the scheme opening, cash grants were being transferred to eligible businesses to help during this incredibly difficult time. “Our team has worked incredibly hard to process so much information in a matter of days. Checking every single one against the eligibility criteria of this grant scheme is quite some feat.” There are two streams of government funding available to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses which already receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief can apply for a one off grant of £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs. Businesses operating in the hospitality, leisure or retail sector can apply for a one off cash grant of £25,000 if they have a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000. It is thought around 1,429 businesses in Barrow will be eligible overall. All will be contacted by the borough council to advise them of the information they need to supply in order for their grant to be paid. Barrow Borough Council’ is now making several payment runs each week to ensure money reaches businesses without delay. Cllr Thomson added: “I would urge any business that hasn’t already been in touch to send in their details as soon as they can so they too receive this government money quickly. “Please make sure you provide all the information required so the process is as smooth as possible. “I would like to thank everyone for continuing to do all they can to minimise the spread of coronavirus in our communities. Stay safe and well this Easter.” Businesses can send their information on downloadable data collection forms available online at Barrowbc.gov.uk via the Covid-19 Info page. Alternatively, forms can also be printed out, completed, and posted to: Business Support Grant, Barrow Borough Council, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 2LD.