£5.12m of grants have been distributed by Wirral Council to local businesses this week.
The cash is supporting the local economy and helping a large number of organisations to continue to operate through the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
The grants process remains open, and businesses are encouraged to apply if they think they might be eligible.
Nearly 2,000 businesses have submitted a claim for grant money since the Council launched the claim process on its website on Monday 30 March. Payments started being made on approved applications as soon as the funds were released by Government on Wednesday.
One-off cash grants of £10,000 are available for businesses eligible for relief under the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme or Rural Rate Relief and grants of up to £25,000 are available for eligible properties within the retail, hospitality and leisure business sectors.
In addition to cash grants, eligible local businesses may also benefit from other types of support provided via the Council, including business rates relief, which removes the requirement to pay rates during 2020/21, subject to conditions.
As well as making information available on its website and social media feeds, Wirral Council is in the process of contacting businesses in the Borough to highlight the support available.
The Council website provides useful information on other support available to businesses, employers and the self-employed, including details of specific Government support.
You can access details here: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/coronavirus-updates/financial-aid-businesses
Businesses have been positive about the straightforward and clear application process. The Council team are working extra shifts, including during the weekend, to process the applications as quickly as possible.
Kassandra Lee, from Patton’s Jewellers, said: "I only put my application in Monday afternoon, so when I got the e-mail through from the Council letting me know I was successful, I was surprised at how swift the process was. It only took a couple of days! The process was straightforward and everything has been fabulous from start to finish."
Paul White, from APH Accountants, said: "Great news for businesses. Well done Wirral Council for sorting this out so quickly!"
Wirral Council's Director of Regeneration and Place, Alan Evans, said: "Our first priority to local businesses is to help them access financial support and advice. We know how critical these grants are right now, and we’ve introduced a simple process to get them out as quickly as we can.
"I encourage all businesses to visit our website and find out what is available to help you. The grants process is still very much open, so do use our helpline if you need advice or support. For anyone who has made an application, rest assured that you will be hearing from us very soon."