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More than £5m in help has already been given away

Greenwich Council has been given more than £36m to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic – with more than £5m of it already given away.

The government announced grant allocations for local authorities across England on Thursday, as part of the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant announced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, last month.

Greenwich has been given £36,852,000 to distribute to local businesses, with neighbouring Bexley Council receiving £36,438,000. Lewisham has been given £47,004,000, while Bromley has received £52,482,000.

But Greenwich leader Danny Thorpe revealed on Thursday that the council had already sent out more than £5m of the small business grant fund in just two days.

“We have received lots of enquiries from businesses over the last week about the much-needed financial support announced by the Government. By the end of today we will have sent out over £5m  of the small business grant fund in just two days,” he said.

A survey of local businesses conducted by Greenwich found that out of 450 responses:

  • 26% have already had to make staff redundant
  • 48% are concerned they will need to lay off staff
  • 65% fear they will cease trading altogether due to cash flow challenges

Under the Small Business Grant Fund all businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant means eligible business will be able to receive between £10,000 and £25,000 in support.


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Lachlan Leeming is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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