Bedford Borough Council has automatically issued over £964,000 in support grants to 648 local businesses that have had to close during this period of national restrictions.
The council said that these businesses will have received the funding in their bank accounts earlier this week, with 497 businesses receiving £1,334 and 151 businesses receiving £2,000.
Other business that have a Business Rates account and have been required to close will also be entitled to a grant. The Council will be contacting businesses that received a grant during the last lockdown by email to advise if they are likely to be eligible this time and how to go about claiming a grant.
In addition, if a local business ratepayer believes they are eligible for this grant funding but did not receive a grant during the last lockdown they are asked to fill out the online form at www.bedford.gov.uk/bsg.
This will enable the Council to gather the information it needs to supply this grant funding to other local businesses required to close, such as those with a rateable value of over £51,000. Cllr Michael Headley, portfolio holder for Finance, said:
“I am really pleased that we have been able to automatically issue nearly £1million of this national support to local businesses, to help them through these difficult times.
“Where we haven’t been able to confirm that a business is closed and eligible for the support grant this time, we will reach out to them to check that they are eligible, to ensure that businesses get the support they are entitled to.
“We have also set up an online form to help other business ratepayers contact us if they think they are eligible for this funding.”
Further information about discretionary grants will be announced shortly and will include guidance for those businesses with property costs but who are not business ratepayers. This will be updated at www.bedford.gov.uk/bsg.