More than £1billion of Covid support handed out to businesses, traders and councils in Nottinghamshire

More than £1 billion has been offered or provided to Nottinghamshire businesses, traders and councils to tackle the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 8:54 am

Nottinghamshire County Council data shows the Government has provided hundreds of millions of pounds in various grants and loans, aimed at keeping struggling businesses afloat during the crisis.

Loans totaling £566,475,877 were offered to businesses disrupted by lockdowns, including almost £400 million from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Self-employed people eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme also received a total of £202.4 million, spread across three separate windows.

More than £1billion of Covid support has been given to businesses, traders and councils in Nottinghamshire.

And 571 of the county’s struggling restaurants took advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, in August 2020, when meals were subsidised by 50 per cent at the expense of the Treasury.

This amounted to almost £5 million in discounted meals across the promotional period.

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The figures came as part of an assessment by the council’s economic development committee, on Tuesday, when councillors viewed the support package provided to ailing traders.

Documents confirmed grants totaling more than £140 million were distributed to district and borough councils, before then being issued to eligible retail, hospitality, leisure and small businesses.

A further £7.9 million was provided to small and micro businesses not eligible for either the Small Business Grant, or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant.

And an additional £56 million was issued to businesses either forced to close, or disrupted by, the introduction of numerous lockdown measures.

The county’s seven district and borough councils received extra support totaling £21.9 million, provided as a one-off grant based on £20 per head of population, to be used between 2020 and 2022.

Commenting on the figures, councillor John Wilmott said: “All the businesses I’ve been involved in, and talking to, have been very grateful for all the work both the county and district councils have done.

“It’s commendable and they say they’re very grateful. But, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown up a lot of challenges.

“[The data] outlines the significant support given to businesses across the county, but the question is, do we have any figures on how many businesses in Nottinghamshire didn’t make it past the pandemic?

“I know sole traders based at home were especially vulnerable, as they didn’t qualify for many Government grants, but did many of them reach out, and what continuing support can we give them?”

In response, Matt Neal, service director for investment and growth, said: “We do measure the performance in terms of contacts with local businesses.

“In terms of figures around businesses that have not made it through the pandemic, I haven’t got those figures to hand, but I can certainly bring something back.”