Wakefield Council help local businesses receive £32m in grants

07/04/2020, PR-9373

​More than 2,800 businesses and charities in Wakefield have now received £32m in grant funding to help them during the coronavirus outbreak and the Council are urging other local business and charities to come forward to receive support.

There is an easy online business grant application form on the Council's website and all businesses and charities need to do is fill it in and if they are eligible, they will receive the funds as soon as possible.

The Government recently announced business grants for small businesses and cash grants for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries.

The Council has also already made contact with over 700 businesses and charities to find out what support is needed locally and 600 enquiries have been recorded since coronavirus restrictions began. The team has signposted almost all to help with staffing issues, financial pressures, supply chain and import/export challenges, training needs, key partners, government grants and additional funding.

Cllr Darren Byford
Cllr Darren Byford

​Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: "Many businesses and charities across the district have now received their grants which I hope will help to ease some of the difficulties they are currently facing.

"Our business grant application form speeds up the process for businesses and charities and makes it easier for them to access the grants.

"Although we have received a high number of applications, our teams have worked really hard to ensure businesses and charities have got their grants just a few days after we received the money from Government, and we will continue to do so.

"We are extremely proud of our local economy and if you haven't already, I would encourage all local businesses and charities to fill in the form if you are eligible and please get in touch with us for any further help and support."

Businesses that pay little or no business rates are eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 if:

  • Their business is based in England
  • They are a small business and already receive Small Business Rate Relief and/or Rural Rate Relief
  • They are a business that occupies property

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, including charity shops, are eligible for a grant of up to £25,000 per property. If the businesses or charity has a rateable value of under £15,000 they will receive a grant of £10,000 or if the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000 they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses are eligible for this grant if:

  • Their business is based in England
  • Their business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:
  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

The form is available at https://forms.wakefield.gov.uk/Forms/BusinessGrant/BusinessGrantForm.aspx

The Government have also introduced recent changes to their previously introduced loan interruption scheme. The changes will ensure that all viable businesses affected by coronavirus will be eligible for loans to help with cash flow. The changes intend to make the process easier for businesses to access vital funds with many banks now moving to an online application to ensure funds are allocated speedily. The loans are interest free for 12 months with no set-up fees.

For further help and support, please visit the Council's dedicated webpage for businesses at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/business/coronavirus-%E2%80%93-help-for-businesses which has a range of FAQs to refer to including help with cash-flow problems, tax liabilities, account managers they can talk to and advice on managing staff during these difficult times or please contact info@wakefieldfirst.com

Wakefield First, the business facing arm of the council is working closely with key partners such as the Federation for Small Business, Wakefield Bondholder, Mid Yorkshire Chamber and Nova to coordinate messages to their members and clients. 

The Step-Up service is also still offering a telephone service for residents. Last week, 222 support calls were made and information on training opportunities was sent out to 148 customers, 183 were sent information on current job opportunities and 15 were supported to make applications, seven of which resulted in submissions.

Three customers attended interviews and two started work in essential services. A further six received job offers, with start dates being held back due to coronavirus. The Step-Up team are also working with the Business Support team to help workers at risk of redundancy. To contact the team call 01924 303334.