On 1 April Wyre Council received just under £32 million to support businesses eligible for the coronavirus business grants and payments totalling £16.3 million have already been made.

Councillor Alan Vincent, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resources at Wyre Council explains, “Before we received this money from the Government we set up an online form so that we could quickly get on with making payments from 1 April onwards. This means that already we have been able to make payments of £16.3 million, helping over half of eligible businesses. I would like to thank the staff at Wyre for their efforts made to achieve this in such a short timescale. We know how important it is to get this money to the businesses that need it and we will continue to make payments until businesses have received the money they are entitled to.

“We believe there are still around 700 eligible businesses in Wyre who are yet to apply for the grants. Full details of who can apply are on our website. If you are a local business owner, please check your eligibility and get in touch.”

The Business Support Grants Fund means that all properties in receipt of small business rate relief on 11 March 2020, with the exception of those occupied for personal use, are eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund also means that properties which would have qualified for the retail discount on 11 March 2020 will be entitled to a grant of either £10,000 where the rateable value is £15,000 or less or £25,000 where the rateable value is greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000.

Lee Hirst, owner of Art Signs in Thornton recently received a grant payment from the council and comments, “I was really impressed with Wyre Council’s response to the Covid-19 virus. The council’s website has been updated regularly with information to support local businesses and as soon as the small business grants were announced, the council acted quickly to update their website with a link to apply for the grants. The form was very straightforward, all you need is a recent rates bill. As soon as this was sent we had a BACS payment within two weeks.

“I would urge all local small business owners to access Wyre Council’s website to see if you are eligible for any grants or other funding. The whole process is very simple. In these difficult and unprecedented times small businesses need financial support and Wyre Council have provided just that.”

Full details of eligibility and exemptions can be found at www.gov.uk. Eligible businesses in Wyre can apply for the grants at www.wyre.gov.uk/businesssupport