New figures produced by the UK Government reveal a lottery in the timeliness of coronavirus business grant distribution.
Data showing the current distribution of awards for both the Small Business Grants Fund scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund reveal a wide variation between local authorities.
Both of these grants to support businesses through the coronavirus shutdown period were announced in March, with the Government saying they would be a priority for payment.
Funding has been handed down to local authorities to pass on to small and medium-sized businesses including, via the SBGF, many of those in the pet trade. However it is down to local authorities to identify and contact eligible businesses depending on rateable value of their property.
This latest data – released yesterday and based on figures for April 19 – reveals a wide variation in the rate at which local authorities are managing to make the awards.
Some, for example Luton, Nottingham and Birmingham, are hovering at around just 10% of eligible business properties (hereditaments) having received grants to date.
While others, such as Cornwall at nearly 67% and Barnsley at 76%, appear to have achieved this vital contact-and-award process at a much speedier rate.
Although many of the struggling authorities are urban this is not always the case. For example the London Borough of Ealing has reached 83% of eligible hereditaments.
Figures for all the local authorities can be found on the www.gov.uk website.