Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) has paid out over £23m in grants to support local businesses while the UK is in Coronavirus lock down and is now reaching out to those who may be eligible for help but haven’t claimed.
Although the offices are closed staff have been working from home to ensure Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund payments are processed as soon as possible.
The Council has received 2,663 registrations for COVID19 business grants. To date, 1,938 of these have been completed resulting in grants paid totalling £23,385,000.
SWT is now using a combination of texts, e-mails & automated phone messages to ensure local businesses who have not yet applied are aware and can get the help they need.
Councillors are also reaching out to identity businesses in their SWT wards who may not be aware they could qualify.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, said: “I am proud of our officers for working round the clock to help our local businesses and ensure that so many have already received grants they are entitled to.
There remains a significant number of organisations that we believe to be eligible for a grant who have not yet been in touch to register.
I would encourage remaining eligible businesses to register for the grant that they are entitled to, particularly for small independent businesses and organisations. If you are a business that would benefit or you know one that might, the Council is asking you to visit its website for guidance”
The application process is straightforward using the secure online form at https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/business-rates/business-grants-covid-19-response/
Their aim is to get payments into the bank accounts of the eligible businesses within 7 working days of receiving the required information.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Information page of their website also contains the latest links to wider advice, support and guidance for businesses.