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Supporting businesses through the pandemic

Published: 12/08/2021
Happy couple receiving their business support grant

Around 12,000 business support grants, totalling £56 million have been paid out since April 2020 – supporting over 5,000 businesses in the borough.

Ashford Borough Council has been supporting local businesses by processing and administering the many government grant schemes since the first national lockdown in March 2020.

Key highlights

  • Small Business Grants: 1,757 grants totalling £17,570,000
  • Retail/Hospitality/Leisure Grants: 560 grants totalling £10,205,000
  • Discretionary Grants: 175 grants totalling £1,351,000
  • Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG): 5,772 grants to 1,136 businesses totalling £14,280,654
  • Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG): 2,687 grants to 448 businesses totalling £4,823,350
  • Restart 1,033 grants totalling £8,042,717

The work of the Revenues and Benefits and Economic Development teams, assisted by colleagues from across the council, has helped hundreds of businesses stay afloat during these unprecedented times.

Getting in touch with eligible businesses

Council officers contacted businesses to confirm their eligibility for financial support.

Businesses who were eligible for grant support because they were required to close or significantly affected by the closure of other businesses were then able to apply through the council’s website.

Cllr Neil Bell, former portfolio holder for Finance, praised their work: “We know that many businesses were appreciative of how quickly the grants were processed and paid out; this funding has helped so many of our local businesses during this pandemic.

“Many people were aware of central government providing the scheme, but few will realise it was local government who administered it. I would like to put on record my gratitude to council officers who worked tirelessly to help businesses to get the financial support they so desperately needed.”

We have now paid out 5,772 Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) to 1,136 businesses, a total of £14,280,654m. These grants have been paid to businesses who have had to be closed during the various lockdowns since November 2020.

Alongside the LRSG scheme, officers assessed applications under the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). This was for businesses who have suffered financial loss but were not covered by the LRSG scheme. More than £4,823,350m was given out.

From the start of April, as lockdown restrictions eased, many businesses were also eligible for the Restart grant. A total of around £8,042,717m was paid to 1,033 businesses.

The government grant scheme has now closed but more information on the support available to businesses is available on our website.