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Business / Grant funding of over £1.8m approved for local businesses so far through coronavirus scheme

Lerwick Town Hall.

OVER £1.8 million has so far been allocated to Shetland businesses through new government grant funding schemes designed to support companies through the coronavirus crisis.

The money is being administered locally by Shetland Islands Council and over 150 applications have been approved to date.

Chief executive Maggie Sandison confirmed that £1.83 million had so far been approved for local businesses.

As of Monday (6 April) the council had received 255 applications for the £10,000 business support fund, with 133 approved so far – totalling £1.33 million.

It has also received 43 applications for the £25,000 fund. Twenty have been approved to a value of £500,000.

The first payments are being made to businesses and the council has to make all eligible payments within 10 working days of receiving an application.

“We got the money from the government, which allows us to make the payments,” Sandison explained.

“I think we’ve got 80 per cent of the money, which was about £6 million, and then they’re going to give us some more later in the year.”

The two grant funds were announced last month by the UK government as part of a raft of measures intended to support businesses.

They also included a job retention scheme and the deferral of VAT payments.

The small business grant fund is a one-off £10,000 grant available for the ratepayers of properties which have a rateable value of £18,000 or less and were, on 17 March 2020:

  • In receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS),
  • in receipt of Rural Relief, or
  • eligible for SBBS but in receipt of Nursery Relief, Disability Relief, Fresh Start Relief or Business Growth Accelerator Relief.

The retail, hospitality, leisure support grant is a £25,000 grant available for ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000.