Coronavirus: Dacorum businesses have received nearly £25 million in grants

Dacorum Borough Council has paid grants to over 1,800 businesses

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:38 pm

Businesses in Dacorum have received £24.7 million as part of a scheme to help them stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dacorum Borough Council has sent grants to 87 per cent of the earmarked properties - just about the national average of 86 per cent, according to the latest figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Firms in the area have received £24.7 million so far, from an allocated pot of £26.3 million.

Dacorum (C) Google Maps

The figures also show that the council was yet to pay 272 business properties flagged as qualifying for help by May 31.

The cash is provided for a business property so firms with multiple outlets can receive more than one payment.

A spokesperson for Dacorum Borough Council said: "We have been working hard to support local businesses during this time and have now paid 1,830 businesses a total of £25m in grants (as of 8/6/20).

"Our records show that about one third of the unclaimed grants are potentially for businesses that will not claim, but the rest are due to small local businesses.

"We have made several attempts to contact these businesses by letter and telephone without success and believe some have stopped trading or moved out of the area.

"We would urge anyone who is entitled to this support but hasn’t yet been in touch to apply for their grant at: www.dacorum.gov.uk/business-support-grants.

"The Discretionary Business Grant Fund was launched on Monday 8 June and we are processing these applications with funding being paid out asap.

"This grant is available to businesses that were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. Apply here: www.dacorum.gov.uk/local-authority-discretionary-grant."

The Federation of Small Businesses has urged councils across the country to get cash to the thousands of companies still in need of support.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said many councils are doing their best to distribute the grants announced in March.

“However, it is disappointing to see that some councils are still lagging behind the rest, which means that there are thousands of small businesses that are still waiting for this urgent support," he added.

“It is the responsibility of councils and local authorities to distribute these funds as quickly as possible to help struggling small firms through this pandemic.

"I would urge any councils that still have sizeable chunks of their funding to distribute to do so sooner rather than later.

“Equally, we need to see authorities moving as quickly as possible to allocate additional, discretionary funding to those most in need."

Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said: “Government grants are a vital lifeline to businesses struggling at this time and worried about the future.

“Councils have worked hard to distribute more than £10 billion of this vital funding to small businesses. This has been a huge undertaking.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said local authorities have been working flat out to ensure funds get to hard-pressed small business owners.