AROUND three-quarters of all eligible businesses in Stratford district have applied for government grant help to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Nearly 1,500 business grant applications have been received from the approximately 2,000 businesses in Stratford district that may be eligible for the scheme.
To date payments have been processed for 483 district businesses with a total of just over £6.7million being distributed.
A spokesperson for Stratford District Council, which is administering the grants, said: “All applications are being processed as quickly as possible.
“We have, however, received a significant number of applications from businesses that are not already held on the National Valuation Agency non-domestic rates valuation list. This is an essential qualifying criteria under the current Government legislation for these grants.
“Therefore, in common with other authorities, those properties on the valuation list and with no other queries eg incomplete bank details will be prioritised so that as many payments as possible can be got out in the shortest timeframe possible.
“Our officers will liaise individually with those businesses where further information is required as quickly as possible.
“Businesses need to be aware that some queries cannot be resolved by the District Council alone and are likely to require Valuation Agency input.
“Consequently, we regret that any property not on the valuation list will need further investigation work done with the business to establish eligibility for the scheme – this is likely to result in a delay in coming to a decision whether the business is actually eligible under the scheme.
“The Government has given local councils absolutely no discretion applying these rules. We have to follow the guidelines laid down by government, and, unfortunately, these have been changing as the emergency develops which can hinder our ability to act as quickly as we would wish.”
Businesses are being asked to complete the on-line application to qualify for the grants – Click www.stratford.gov.uk/online-forms/business-rates-grant-form.cfm
* The government have also recently added nurseries into the Business Rates Grants Relief system. The district council has been working with the Warwickshire County Council to identify 28 nurseries in Stratford district that are eligible and will be writing to those businesses that will be advised to complete the online application.