Hundreds of Adur and Worthing businesses receive vital COVID-19 cash
Hundreds of local businesses and community groups have received vital government grant support worth nearly £7 million in super quick time thanks to Adur & Worthing Councils.
Just a few days after the government outlined details of one-off funding of £10,000 for small firms and up to £25,000 for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, the Councils had established a new easy-to-use system to distribute cash to those affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
A week after going live, more than 2,000 of the 2,500 eligible ratepayers across Adur and Worthing have now applied for the funding. More than 700 have been approved and nearly £7 million distributed, providing a vital lifeline to local firms and organisations.
Town hall teams are continuing to work round the clock to process scores of claims a day. While understanding the pressing need for the funds, the Councils continue to ask for patience and reassure eligible ratepayers who have already come forward that they will receive the grant in the coming days.
Councils’ representatives are also reminding community groups, sports clubs and charities that have a business rates account to check their eligibility so that all the allocated funds are distributed to those in need.
One of those organisations to receive the funding is Chris Dixon of Goring-based Landmore Property Services.
Mr Dixon said: “I was very impressed with the simplicity and efficiency of the service and would strongly recommend any Adur or Worthing business with a Non Domestic Business Rates account, whether they physically pay rates or not, to apply for the Government non-refundable tax free grant.”
Adur and Worthing were among the first authorities in Sussex to start distributing government COVID-19 support scheme funds.
Qualifying small organisations (such as those receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate) will receive a grant of £10,000 while operators in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive grants of up to £25,000 providing their rateable value does not exceed £51,000.
In total, £26.1 million has been made available for organisations in Worthing and £17.6 million in Adur.
Letters to about 2,500 eligible firms across Adur and Worthing were distributed last week, directing company owners to complete an easy-to-use online form on the Councils website.
The Councils scheme involves a three stage process.
First businesses are asked to check their eligibility and then gather all relevant information before completing an online form on the Councils website.
A confirmation email will then be received. After a short vetting process, those eligible will receive notification a payment will be made.
Payments can only be made to the registered ratepayer for the eligible organisation.
Cllr Angus Dunn, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Resources, said: “Small businesses and community groups are the lifeblood of our area which is why we worked so hard to get a quick and easy-to-use system up and running as soon as practically possible.
“In the space of five days we created a new online tool for eligible firms and began making the first payments just after that.
“It’s testament to the work of Council teams, along with the support of local firms, that we were one of the first authorities in the Sussex to go live with this grant support scheme.”
Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “In a vibrant coastal town which has developed a fantastic retail, hospitality and leisure offer, these government funds are vital to our local businesses.
“While I completely understand the pressing need from local firms and groups for support, it’s vital that we complete all the relevant checks to ensure only those eligible receive this funding.
“I want to reassure organisations that we are working as quickly as we can but ask for patience as we work through all of the applications.
“I also encourage all those who do pay business rates such as scout groups and sports clubs to check if they qualify for vital support during these unprecedented times.”
For more details visit: www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.