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Gloucestershire Business News

Fresh call for firms to apply for grant help

Ian Sloan

Small businesses across Gloucestershire are again being encouraged to contact their local councils to avoid missing out on government help.

The county's six city, district and borough councils are distributing the money from their allocation for the Business Support Grant Fund and Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

Figures show each of the councils has paid out more than 75 per cent of the funds allocated to them by the Government to help firms cope with a loss of income during the coronavirus pandemic.

But companies can still get in touch with more than 150 being identified as eligible last week.

Ian Sloan of chartered surveyors Bankier Sloan said: "Businesses in Gloucestershire should approach their local councils if they have not already made a claim or heard from their local business rates office

"Councils want to hand out this money. They are trying very hard. This money is free and doesn't need to be returned, it is intended to ensure the long-term survival of local retailers."

All retailers are eligible for a grant of £10,000 or £25,000 if their property has a rateable value below £51,000.

According to the latest government figures, which have been analysed by Bankier Sloan in conjunction with Retail Express, the six councils identified 151 new eligible businesses last week.

They paid out a total of more than £10.2million to 743 firms.

Gloucester City Council has paid out 90.45 per cent of its £21.78million allocation, adding another 38 firms to its eligible list which stands at 1,717.

Cheltenham Borough Council paid out another 136 grants, adding 65 businesses to its list, and have now allocated 83.7 per cent of its funding.

While Cotswold District Council has identified no new eligible firms, it has now paid 79.5 per cent of its allocation with 86 payments in the past week taking its total to 2,312.

Forest of Dean District Council actually removed 41 businesses from its initial list and has now identified 2,165 eligible for grants - 1,657 of which have received 76.5 per cent of its allocation.

That figure is just over 76 per cent for Stroud District Council who added 45 new businesses, paying out 177 more grants of its 2,525.

And Tewkesbury Borough Council has paid 75.7 per cent of its £17.2million, adding three more eligible firms to take its total to 1,541.

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