Nearly £50m has now been distributed to Cardiff businesses in grant aid by Cardiff Council as part of the on-going COVID-19 rescue package.
Since the £1.4bn financial rescue package was announced by Welsh Government, officers from the Economic Development department have contacted 7,000 businesses to give information on the financial aid, as well as assist them with any enquiries.
3,668 businesses have now received financial support through these schemes and the council is continuing to progress the remaining applications as quickly as possible.
Cardiff Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, Cllr Chris Weaver, said:
“Firstly I would like thank our staff in the finance department for their continual efforts in releasing these vital funds to businesses that qualify for the schemes. We've had some great feedback from business on the way we are managing the scheme, but I want to reassure any business that has applied for these schemes and hasn't yet heard back, that we are progressing applications as quickly as possible.
“Straightforward applications, which do not require further information or clarification are being processed and paid in two to three days. However, there are other claims which we may have queries on which will take much longer. It's vitally important the system isn't abused, so necessary checks have to be made to ensure any fraudulent claims are captured.
“Last week more than 300 of these queries were resolved, but they often aren't straightforward. Right now we are working our way through a number of applications with queries on them. If businesses are concerned and need to contact us they should email [email protected] “
The grant schemes available as part of the financial support package include:
- All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or less will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief for 2020-21. This will be administered automatically through the Council's Rate Scheme so these businesses do not need to contact the Council
- All businesses, which are currently eligible for Small Business Rates relief, that is those with a rateable value up to £12,000, will receive a grant of £10,000. If you believe you are an eligible business click here: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Business/Business-Rates/Covid-grant/Pages/default.aspx for the application form and follow the processes outlined
- Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value between £12,001 and £50,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. If you believe you are an eligible business click here: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Business/Business-Rates/Covid-grant/Pages/default.aspx for the application form and follow the processes outlined.
- A £400m ‘emergency pot' has also been announced, which allows some businesses that have been effected by the COVID-19 Crisis to access emergency funds based on the number of people that they employ. A grant of £10,000 is available for businesses that employ up to 9 people and grants up to £100,000 are available for companies that employ between 10 and 249 people. To see if you are eligible click here
Fred Wyatt, Managing Director for MeanWhile Creative which provides affordable office, desk and studio space in Cardiff has commended the council for their speed and professionalism during these very challenging times.
Mr Wyatt said:
“These grants will be a lifeline to many and I am delighted to report that most of our tenants have already received their grants. The portal to apply, we believe, was one of the first that went live in the UK and some of our tenants received payment within 3 or 4 days of applying which was amazing.
“I think the speed to turn this around was a great display of action and integrity which really sends the right message to the often forgotten small business, especially in times like these.”
Leshia Hawkins, Chief Executive of Cricket Wales has also praised the Council for the speed in its response and said:
“I would like to thank the council on behalf of all the clubs and for their speed and assistance with this financial aid. We have provided advice on the eligibility criteria for this financial assistance and will continue to assist the clubs with their applications.”