Nearly 800 small firms in Preston have now received emergency funding from the government.Advertisement
Preston City Council says it has paid out more than £9.3million to small businesses in the city, particularly in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.
The grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 depending on the size of the business rates paid by the firm have landed in bank accounts in the last fortnight.
Payments are made directly by BACS transfer to the firms once forms are completed.
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Chief executive of Preston City Council, Adrian Phillips, said: “Our Business Rates and Accounts teams have been working tirelessly, including evenings and weekends, to process applications from local businesses to ensure they receive these vital grants.
“We’ve written to all eligible businesses to outline the process they need to follow to apply for the grant and have shared information on our website and social media channels. While we’ve been encouraged by the number who have already applied, a significant number of eligible businesses have yet to get in touch.
“We understand this is a fraught time for businesses and we’re grateful for the patience business owners have shown while we process these applications. Our thorough approach will ensure businesses receive the correct amount from this scheme.”
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Mr Phillips said payments to some businesses were being delayed because additional information was sometimes needed.
He said: “Our team have faced challenges in processing applications with out of date or incorrect information. I’d urge anyone applying online or via post to ensure their application is detailed and correct so that our team have the information they need.
“We’ve added a list to our website with common themes or information that we’re missing from businesses or areas where the information we hold is out of date. The team is actively contacting those who have provided incomplete or seemingly incorrect information, but this is causing understandable delays in our ability to pay out the grants.”
The small business grant fund remains open and any firm can apply by visiting the city council website.
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The city council is urging any business who submitted an application on or before March 28 and has not received payment to contact the business rates team on NNDR@preston.gov.uk or call 01772906972.
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