To date (Friday 15 May), BCP Council has processed over 5447 Business Support Grants to support businesses in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The current value of these Grants stands at £69m and this will exceed the £70m mark following payments being made this weekend.
Since the launch of the national Business Support Grant schemes in late March, the Council has sent letters to all local businesses on its records who are eligible for either the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. Of these approximately 80% have now applied and received the available funding.
The grant process is not automatic and the remaining 20% of Business Ratepayers that have not yet applied are encouraged to do so using the online application process as soon as possible. There may also be other businesses who are not on the Council’s record who may be eligible. The e-forms and eligibility criteria are available online.
Providing all the information supplied is accurate, the Council aims to make payments within 7 working days. Businesses may be contacted directly for relevant information to validate claims and prevent fraud. In some cases, businesses will receive a request to provide further details before payments can be processed. Once applications are verified and processed, the payments can take 3-5 days to enter bank accounts.
Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said:
“Overcoming the challenges imposed by lockdown, our Officers have been working exceptionally hard to process thousands of applications, following up cases when more information is required and making payments within the shortest possible timeframe.’’
“We appreciate that businesses are facing an incredibly difficult time and there that many are not eligible. To help these businesses we will continue to issue updates on future schemes, such as the Discretionary Grant Fund, and highlight other available support on our website. We will also continue to lobby the Government, both directly and through our MPs and with partners including the Dorset LEP and Chamber of Commerce for further aid.”
Business can find out more about available Financial Support, check their Grants eligibility and apply via: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/covid19businesssupport