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Businesses urged to come forward to claim financial help

Published on Monday, April 27, 2020

City Hall

BUSINESSES across Leicester are being urged to come forward to get financial help from an £85million Government fund designed to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leicester City Council has so far processed for payment more than 4,000 applications from businesses across the city, totalling more than £47million of financial assistance.

In total more than 6,000 businesses in the city are potentially eligible for the help, and the city council is calling on those who haven’t yet submitted a claim to do so.

In addition to processing the incoming claims, officers from the council’s revenues and benefits team are actively contacting other businesses who have not yet made a claim, as well as identifying charities which may also be eligible for a grant.

The money is part of the Government’s Small Business Grant funding, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant funding, which was announced just before Easter.

Smaller businesses who get business rate relief can expect to apply for £10,000, while larger businesses could get up to £25,000. The grants do not have to be paid back.

So far about 85 per cent of claims paid were for £10,000, with the remaining 11 per cent being for £25,000.

The £85m funding for Leicester is the largest amount in the East Midlands and one of the 10 highest city allocations in the UK.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “It is fantastic that so many businesses in the city have already been able to claim for financial assistance in what is a very uncertain time for everyone.

“We’ve processed claims for more than 60% of the city’s eligible businesses, but many are still missing out on the help to which they are entitled.

“Our staff are continuing to try to make contact with businesses who haven’t yet claimed, to ensure they can get it. In many cases this money will provide a vital lifeline and we want to make sure everyone who is eligible to claim does so.”

The Government funding is part of a wider package of help and support being made available to businesses across Leicester and Leicestershire which are concerned about their future.

The website of the Business Gateway Growth Hub – a support network for businesses in the city, run by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) – is being updated daily to give employers details of how to apply for financial help, business support, help for self-employed people and accessing benefits.

The pages bring together the most relevant national Government information with the guidance and advice of various teams working across the city centre and beyond, focusing on retail, hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, service and other sectors.

Leicester City Council is working with the LLEP to coordinate a citywide information service and has a steadily-growing team of advisers already liaising with businesses, who can all be accessed via the Business Gateway Growth Hub.

The LLEP has made a wide range of help and advice available online, and has been working with small local businesses concerned about their future.

Up-to-date information on help for businesses is available at: www.bizgateway.org.uk

To find out more, or to apply for a Small Business Grant or a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus