Sheffield officers ‘moved heaven and earth’ to provide 300 times the amount of grants during pandemic
Sheffield Council officers were praised for ‘moving heaven and earth’ to provide thousands of grants during the pandemic, that so far totalled more than 300 times the amount they usually deal with.
Edward Highfield, Sheffield’s director of city growth, said how proud he was of the council teams for their efforts during a presentation on the economic impact of Covid-19 at a full council meeting.
He said during the first lockdown the council awarded nearly 9,000 grants of between £10,000 and £25,000.
Mr Highfield added: “We might handle through our team something like 30 grants a year and we have just done 9,000 of them.
“I have never seen teams in our council pull together and work as hard under as difficult conditions – we have had staff working all hours of the day. Literally getting up at 3am in the morning so the IT works, working weekends and dealing with absolutely distressing calls from businesses to get these grants going. We have moved heaven and earth to get these grants going and personally, I am proud of our staff on this.”
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, added on the support that has been offered to businesses: “Our staff across the council have been working tirelessly in these challenging times, 24/7 and I actually mean that – throughout the weekends and getting up at silly hours.
“But this wouldn’t have been possible without business leaders who came together and approached the council and said ‘look, we need to do something’. So I am eternally grateful. For me, it’s team Sheffield.”