Rotherham Council allocated £87m of Covid business support grants

Rotherham Council supported 5,000 businesses with grants since March 2020.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 1:40 pm

The government announced on March 11 that they would provide financial support packages to businesses impacted by Covid-19 restrictions through local authorities.

A number of different grants were made available, including £10,000 for small businesses, and various offers for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

The Council was allocated £52m in total for the schemes – £49.5m forsmall businesses, retail hospitality and leisure, which had strict criteria, and £2.5m for a discretionary scheme for businesses which were not eligible for the main grant.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rotherham Council supported 5,000 businesses with grants since March 2020.

Rotherham Council received 5,200 applications, and paid3,946, totalling £44.5m.

Of this, £7.2m was administered on April 1 – the first day of the scheme.

By April 30 2021, a further £30.2m had been paid out, bringing the total to £87m.

A report to the council’s overview and scrutiny management board states: “As Government allocated the Council £49,580,000, this final position meant thatgrant of £5,005,000 was returned to Government.

“The Council was not able to utilise this resource for any other purpose or pay businesses that were impacted by the restrictions that did not meet Government’s scheme criteria.

“In total the Council has delivered a total of £87m of business support grants through the first national lockdown business support packages and the Local Restrictions Support Grants that followed.

“This has seen over 5,000 businesses receive direct grant support to enable them to mitigate the financial impacts of Covid-19.

“Whilst the Council is required to return £10m to Government of unallocated grant funds, the Council was not allowed to utilise those grants for other businesses that were impacted by the restrictions.

“The Council had to operate within the guidance that Government had outlined and could not use discretion to award these grant funds outside of that guidance.”