Council distributes £14m to Covid-hit firms

East Suffolk Council's headquarters in Lowestoft.

East Suffolk Council's headquarters in Lowestoft. Picture: Thomas Chapman - Credit: Thomas Chapman

A council is continuing to provide financial support to local businesses affected by the restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

East Suffolk Council has paid out more than £14 million in the past week to businesses affected by the current restrictions.

With the national restrictions introduced on January 5, council staff have worked tirelessly to ensure businesses in East Suffolk receive the much-needed financial support they’re entitled to through the Government’s business grant scheme.

As part of its response to the new restrictions, the council is automatically making payments of all business grants to eligible businesses based on a successful application for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), which has been available since November 2020, and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is available to those businesses who may fall outside the eligibility of the LRSG scheme.

This means that businesses who have already successfully applied for the LRSG or ARG do not need to do anything, unless their circumstances have changed since they applied, as they will automatically receive payments of the grants they’re entitled to.

However, businesses who have not yet applied, are encouraged to do so now.

Craig Rivett, the council's cabinet member for economic development, said: “We know that this continues to be a very challenging time for a lot of our businesses, and we are committed to doing all we can to support them through this.

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development. Pictur

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development. Picture: East Suffolk Council - Credit: East Suffolk Council

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“Our staff continue to work extremely hard to process and pay out the grants as fast as they can, as we know these are a lifeline to many businesses.

“It is important to understand that these grants are not loans that will need to be paid back, and they can make the difference between a business closing or surviving.

"We want our businesses to come out the other end in the strongest possible position to recover, therefore, I urge all businesses who haven’t yet, to check if they’re eligible for these grants.”

In total, East Suffolk Council has paid out more than £80 million to local businesses in East Suffolk through the Government’s business grant scheme since it was announced in April 2020.

Visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/covid-19-business-grant-funding for further information.

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