Businesses are being urged to provide information to Cambridge City Council for financial support grants that they are eligible to receive as part of the national response to the coronavirus crisis.
The council has so far (as of 16 April) paid out £13 million in grants to more than 50% of the smaller businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors eligible in Cambridge. Nationally, councils had paid out 30% of grants (by Wednesday).
The council started paying out grants last week after identifying around 1,350 businesses considered to be eligible but there are still approximately 500 businesses that have not yet completed an online validation form.
The grant does not have to be repaid as it is not a loan, but an online validation form does need to be completed for the grant to be paid. Businesses can complete the secure online form at: https://forms.cambridge.gov.uk/BUSINESSGRANTS/launch
To qualify for the grant the business must be either receiving Small Business Rate Relief or the business activity must fall into the expanded retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. The grants cover:
Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief;
Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 and below;
Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000.
The council received just over £22 million funding from the government to pay these grants but has had difficulty contacting some businesses to provide them with the details of the application form.
Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “I am pleased that we have already been able to get grants quickly to over half of the eligible businesses in Cambridge.
“We know how important this money is in helping businesses gain access to cash during this crisis.
“We are processing the grants speedily to make sure the money reaches businesses’ bank accounts as soon as possible but we have not been able to contact or get a response from some businesses.
“I would encourage all eligible businesses to complete the form on our website as soon as possible to get the help they are entitled to.
“This is a really tough time for businesses who cannot trade or have suffered big reductions in income and we will continue to give them all the help we can both directly and through their representative organisations.”
Those businesses in Cambridge in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector who have premises with a rateable value under £51,000 and have not yet submitted a validation form can do so at: https://forms.cambridge.gov.uk/BUSINESSGRANTS/launch
When the online form is completed, the council’s team validates this against details already held to address the risk of fraudulent claims. The council then pays the grant into the eligible businesses’ bank accounts without further delay.