Council grants scheme invite attracts1,600 calls in a week

A COUNTY council grants scheme for micro businesses in Staffordshire affected by the coronavirus outbreak saw 1,600 calls in its launch week. Businesses with nine employees or less have applied for grants of up to £1,000 through a support scheme. They must be registered in Staffordshire and have an annual turnover of less than £2million a year. The £500,000 scheme will help businesses that cannot get support from other Government initiatives. Due to the surge in applications during the first week it is estimated that all funding will be allocated and the scheme is now closed. The emergency fund has been allocated on a first come, first serve basis and will support up to 500 local businesses. Around 1,600 calls were received this week and this has been narrowed to 600 applications. Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: "This is a critical initiative for the county council and demonstrates our commitment to supporting micro businesses through incredibly difficult times. "We knew there would be high demand and as soon as we launched the scheme last Monday our growth hub team was inundated with calls. The team is working hard to process the applications so we would ask people to bear with us. "It is important that we are thorough with this process and respond to all the applicants. We know there will be some disappointed businesses but we do have a finite resource and our team will support them in any way they can. "I’d like to thank businesses for getting in touch and reassure them that we will respond as soon as possible. Our priority, working with our partners, is to ensure we are doing all we can to support businesses through this period.”


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