|Staff at Torridge District Council have given up parts of their weekend to process Business Support Grant applications to meet their goal of trying to pay as many businesses as possible before the Easter Holidays. Around 1,700 applications have been processed, which have been arriving since the Government announced their package to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis a little over a week ago.|
|The majority of the applications in Torridge have come from small businesses who will each receive a pay-out of £10,000. Most of these payments will be in recipient’s bank accounts by this Thursday – 9th April. Attention is now being focused on the smaller number of higher rate paying businesses that will be receiving £25,000 from the government. These latter payments will be in bank accounts by Tuesday 14th April.
In total around £17 Million is earmarked to be paid out this week with a total based on a Government estimate of £24 Million set aside for businesses as a whole in Torridge.
Steve Hearse Strategic Manager Resources said:
Thanks to the work over the weekend 95%-98% of applicants will receive funds this Thursday with the remainder also in hand. The BACS process takes three working days so it was important we got as many entered as possible by the end of today, Monday. We will still be processing payments right up until Good Friday and so would ask people only to contact the Council if the need is urgent.
Some applicants may need to be contacted to validate some of the information submitted i.e. where there is a mismatch in bank or other details. However we would urge people to allow us time to work through these and not distract officers by telephoning or emailing unnecessarily. We will be working as fast as we can to clear up and action any remaining payments.”
Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:
“I am extremely grateful to all the staff that voluntarily came forward to work over the weekend. This was their decision to support businesses who have been dealing with the fallout of the government’s decision advising closure of most business operations. They have worked extremely quickly, manually processing a huge amount of data, with great efficiency. It’s an example of how hard many of our officers continue to work behind the scenes to make sure services continue to operate effectively. It also reflects the fact that many of us will have friends and family affected by the crisis and a willingness to help each other out where we can – a team spirit which I hope will continue to see us through the challenges we are currently facing.”