Hastings Borough Council has been working to process Small Business and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants since they were announced by Government earlier in April (see panel).

Peter Chowney, the lead councillor for finance, said the Council appreciates how difficult it is currently for businesses, their employees, and suppliers and is looking to provide support wherever it can and continue to lobby government where there are gaps.

“The Revenues and Finance teams are working hard to process these payments to eligible businesses as quickly as possible. The Council has so far paid out £15,960,000 in grants between 1st and 30th April 2020 to 1,358 business premises within the borough. This represents 67% (by value) of the total sum the Council currently expects to be payable.”

The Council has received information from 1,682 businesses out of 1,968 currently considered as eligible within the borough (85%). The remaining businesses who have not submitted their information are being encouraged to do so – please see the Council’s website for further details.

There are other sources of financial assistance available to businesses and specific business sectors so it is worth continuing to consult the Council’s website  and links to Government and other websites.

HBC was fast out of the blocks with its first payment on 1st April with a simple form that had other councils asking it for help. As Peter Chowney says: “It’s dead easy. A single form and then the money appears. Government grants don’t usually work like this.” But you have to be eligible of course and so far 211 claims have been rejected. 

• Under the government’s Small Business Grant Fund most businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March are eligible for a payment of £10,000.

• Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount on 11th March, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.

• Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

• Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000.01 or over and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

• Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme.

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