First local authorities announce news of coronavirus cash for Gloucestershire businesses
By Andrew Merrell | 19th March 2020
News is beginning to emerge of which of Gloucestershire's five local authorities will be first to make available a share of the £350 billion of business coronavirus support money.
Headline grabbing and welcome news of the cash was when the Government announcement came on Tuesday, companies have been waiting since to learn how they can get their hands on any of it.
This morning Punchline contacted Gloucestershire local authorities charged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Chancellor Rishi Sunak with distributing the funds, and it is clear there is some way to go - but there is movement.
Cotswold District Council and the Forest of Dean District Council issued a joint statement which gave hope at least some relief might be imminent.
"The council received further information from Government last night and is already working to identify businesses that qualify for the additional business rate relief and grants announced by Government," said the statement.
"Revised business rate bills will be issued and grant payments will be made as fast as possible to support businesses and we are ready to start working on the grants as soon as we receive more information. The council will be issuing regular communications to business to keep them updated."
Cllr Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council said: "We welcome the government announcement of support for businesses earlier this week and we understand that these are difficult and worrying times for our businesses.
"We have been working through the details of the announcement and last week's spring budget as a priority and have published Information on our website which we will update when we have the detailed guidance from government which we are expecting soon.
"Working with government and our partners we are committed to do what we can to support our local business community."
(See the link below for Gloucester City Council too).
Stroud, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury have yet to give any firm hint of a time scale, although Cheltenham did give the following statement.
"The council recognises the severe impact on local businesses and welcomes the commitment from government to support the economy with a £350blln financial package.
"Some of the key measures will involve reducing business rates and making direct cash grants to businesses which have been identified by the government as needing help."
Cllr Steve Jordan, leader of the council, said: "Once the details of these additional measures are confirmed, we'll inform our local businesses immediately about the support packages available to them and how these packages will be applied.
"Work has already started to increase the level of relief given to businesses following last week's spring budget and revised bills are being issued.
"We are committed to work with our partners and government to ensure local businesses get the financial support they need."
The borough also said further updates will be also be published on the local authority's website, social media channels and business networks.
Information is available on Gloucester City Council's website .
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