HALTON Borough Council has paid out nearly £15.5 million over 1,334 business support grants.

The central government funded grants means more than 90 percent of the eligible businesses who can apply for the grant have now received one.

According to records held, only 134 of the eligible businesses are still to either be paid out, or need to apply for the grants. Of those which have applied and are eligible payment will be made as quickly as possible.

There are a number of applications where the council is reviewing the eligibility based on government criteria and guidance, and will contact the business as soon as possible to request further information or to confirm the outcome.

It is hoped that by helping with such a speedy response secured employment will be enabled for the future when businesses can re-open.

For people who are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) a newly announced scheme to claim a grant has been published.

The scheme allows a taxable grant of 80 percent of your average monthly trading profits, paid in a single instalment covering three months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. Currently this is a temporary scheme and available through the HMRC website.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

You will need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and National Insurance number to begin the application process.

All businesses are reminded at this time that a number of serious fraud emails are being sent to possible recipients of grant aid in all sectors. All businesses should check the validity of email addresses before disclosing any personal or financial information.

The council has also received guidance from central government on the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund and is establishing an application process for local businesses. More information will be available on this in the coming week.

The business support grants are not repayable as they are a direct payment to help small and retails business in these unpredictable times. Each business will need the money for different reasons to ensure the future of the company and its employees.

If you would like to speak to someone locally regarding grants or support for your business call Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on: 0151 511 7825 or email business@halton.gov.uk.