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Double package of financial help for businesses

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Businesses across Dudley borough are receiving a £69million boost from a “double-barrelled” rescue package.

Dudley Council has now completed the vast majority of applications for business grants it has received so far, from a pot that could reach £45million if all eligible businesses apply.

Staff handed out £9million in just three days as the process was streamlined in the face of soaring demand, reaching a total of more than £24million of grants to nearly 2,100 businesses.

On top of that, business rates relief has been agreed, which will effectively wipe £45million off the bills for more than 1,500 businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality and nurseries. This will come into effect when these businesses get their rates bills, which will be zero for the current financial year.

The two-pronged financial rescue package aims to support businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Council staff have been working round the clock, including weekends, to process the hundreds of applications for business grants which have come in. They will now be targeting businesses who have not come forward to apply for grants.

The business rates relief element will happen automatically and there is no need to apply.

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

This is fantastic news for businesses – a double-barrelled package of rescue measures.
On the one hand you have millions of pounds being given to them in grants and on the other hand we are wiping millions of pounds from their business rates bills.
This is a double financial impact and will no doubt go a long way to easing their concerns at such a difficult time.
I said at the very beginning we would do all we can to support businesses and this huge investment is us keeping to our word.

The council will be contacting businesses who have not yet applied for business grants over the next few weeks to offer the extra financial help.

Smaller businesses, with rateable values of up to £15,000, can still apply for grants of £10,000 while certain medium to larger firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries, with rateable values of between £15,000 and £51,000, have access to grants of £25,000.

Eligible businesses can get more information on how to claim by visiting https://www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-rates-grant/

For further business advice and guidance visit https://www.dudleybusinessfirst.org.uk/coronavirus-business-guidance/

For all of the latest news and information on the coronavirus visit https://www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus and sign up to our regular free email bulletins here

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