More than £5.4m handed out to Richmondshire businesses

Photo: Jaggery/Geograph.

More than £5.4 million has been handed out to Richmondshire businesses affected by the coronavirus.

At least 470 businesses have received cash from the Government’s scheme to provide small business grants due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The district council says officers are working hard to turn around applications as fast as possible to get the aid to companies who need it.

They vary from medium sized companies, hotels and   garages to small bed and breakfast, hairdresser and cafe operations.

It launched its on line grants service for small business rate relief, rural rate relief and retail, hospitality and leisure grants a week ago – and within four days had verified 72% of the 700 forms received.

That figure had risen to 83% today (April 3) with 956 forms returned and 793 verified.

The council estimates there are around 1,800 district based businesses able to receive help.

“To pay out £5.4 million in such a short space of time is a massive achievement for our officers who are working hard to make sure everyone entitled to aid gets it as fast as possible,” said council chief executive, Tony Clark.

“We realise some of these businesses are struggling to survive and we want to make sure everyone comes out of this pandemic in a position to pick up their businesses and get the Richmondshire economy going once more.”

Kevin Tasker, from the Old Sweet Shop in Hawes, praised the work of officials at getting the money to businesses so fast.

He said: “It’s been amazing work from Rishi Sunak’s Treasury and from Richmondshire District Council on financial support for small businesses.

“My small business grant hit our bank account today. For small businesses who now have no income this means we can pay our staff, suppliers etc.

“This will make a huge difference to hundreds of local businesses and thousands of local people and those who have made it happen deserve our thanks.”

To make applications businesses are asked to follow these links: