'Help us give away £30m in coronavirus support in Sheffield' minister pleads

A government minister has issued a plea to Star readers after struggling to give away more than £30m.
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Small Business Minister Paul Scully said they were “really keen to get grant funding out” after the cash was unclaimed.

The government fears publicity around financial support for companies hit by lockdown has not reached everyone and has mounted a push to get the word out.

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Some £83m has been given away in Sheffield under grant schemes established since the outbreak, to help firms survive short-term and contribute to the recovery.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully.Small Business Minister Paul Scully.
Small Business Minister Paul Scully.

Mr Scully said: “We believe there is more than £30m unclaimed. If any Star readers that have family or friends that may qualify, we urge them to get in touch.

“It could be companies that have not networked particularly well, one man bands. Some British Asian businesses have more informal networks and some people think it is a loan. It is not.”

The government is giving grants to small businesses receiving rates relief and retail, hospitality and leisure firms with a rateable value below £51,000.

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It has also given Sheffield City Council money to set up a Local Authority Discretionary Fund for firms that have fallen through the cracks including food halls, nurseries and charities.

Amid dire warnings of a deep recession, he added: “We want Sheffield to thrive and bounce back. We are keen to give them cash flow now.”

Other government support includes CBILS and Bounce Back loans, furlough and business rates and VAT holidays.

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