Grant payments totalling £20m have so far been paid to Portsmouth businesses says Portsmouth City Council, who are appealing for more businesses to come forward. We have processed 82% of all applications that we have received and believe that over 1,000 businesses have yet to apply.
The council is encouraging businesses to check if they are eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Fund at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/businessfunding and then complete the online form so payments can be made.
Under the Small Business Grant Fund all businesses receiving small business rates relief with a rateable value of less than £15,000 are eligible for a grant of £10,000. Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant all businesses receiving the expanded retail discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 per property.
The council are making payments as quickly as possible to those who have already applied but there are lots of applications to process. Payments are being made by BAC's and cheque. Payments by BAC's are quicker and typically take three working days to show in accounts whereas payments by cheque are dependent on the postal system.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development, said "If you are a Portsmouth business please check the council website to see if you are eligible for a grant. We think there are still businesses who haven’t completed the online form and want to make sure all our businesses receive the funding they are entitled to.
"We know these are extremely worrying times for businesses and employers in the city and we are processing payments as quickly as we can.
"We urge everyone to follow the latest government advice and check the council website for the latest local information."
A dedicated Coronavirus business support helpline, which is managed by council's economic growth team, is open Monday to Friday between 7am - 7pm on 023 9284 1641. The helpline was set up to support local businesses that are facing unforeseen challenges and financial pressures during this crisis. Please contact them if you need any help with the grant funding process or with any other queries.