More than £6m has been paid to businesses across County Durham in the last two weeks to help them deal with the effects of local and national coronavirus restrictions.
Since 12 November, Durham County Council has processed over 3,000 applications and awarded 4,145 grants totalling more than £6.5m.
This includes more than £2m of support to the county’s hospitality businesses.
Meanwhile, it is anticipated that all outstanding applications will be processed by the end of the week.
As the county moves into Tier 3 restrictions, the council will be contacting hospitality businesses which have previously claimed support to let them know they are eligible for further grants. These businesses will not need to make a new claim for support.
In line with Government guidance, the following grants are currently available to those businesses that remain closed as the county moves into Tier 3:
• Eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks.
• Eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks.
• Eligible businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1,500 per two weeks.
The Government guidance also states that the grants are to be paid fortnightly in arrears so businesses should expect the first Tier 3 grants to be paid on or around 16-17 December.
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We know how challenging the restrictions have been, and will continue to be, for many businesses in County Durham.
“Our staff are continuing to work tirelessly to process current applications to support those who have had to close during the second national lockdown.
“The £6.5m that we have already awarded during this period will help to keep tens of thousands of people in jobs across the county and we will ensure we respond as quickly and efficiently as possible during the Tier 3 restrictions.
“However, the current Government support has not gone far enough for our county and more must be done to help our hospitality sector, which is being forced to remain closed during what should be a very busy month.
“We are calling for more support to be given to our pubs and hospitality businesses that are required to close in order to help see them through this difficult period.
“This is vital not just for individual companies and their staff, but for the county’s economy, as businesses play a key role in ensuring the resilience of our towns and villages and they must be supported as much as possible.”
More information on the grants available to businesses can be found at durham.gov.uk/covid19businessgrants.