Council providing essential support for rising benefit claimants

A COUNTY council business and employee support campaign is promoting a range of schemes launched as a result of the coronavirus crisis as the number of out-of-work benefit claimants in Staffordshire increases.

Together with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership it is ensuring people and businesses know where to go to access essential support.

The out-of-work claimant count figure for Staffordshire rose to 3.9 per cent of the local population in April. The regional figure is six per cent whilst the national stands at five per cent.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub has all the latest information on both national and localised initiatives. These include a local Redundancy and Recruitment Triage Service which is being delivered for the LEP by the National Careers Service and the national furlough and bounce back loan schemes.

People can access the growth hub at www.stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk or call 0300 111 8002.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: "Unfortunately it is unsurprising that we have seen the claimant count rise both here in Staffordshire and nationally as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

"Together with our partners we mobilised as quickly as possible to ensure people could access the right type of support and we know it has made a difference. It was critical that people could benefit from the various initiatives immediately.

"At the county council our micro-businesses grant scheme closed to applications within a week due to high demand and the first businesses have received their funding allocation.

"We anticipate tough times ahead for businesses and our economy, but people can be assured we are doing all we can working with partners and central government to mitigate the impact of the crisis wherever possible.

"We are signposting people to the growth hub to seek advice and support in the first instance.”


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