BUSINESSES in Northwich have begun accessing millions of pounds from the Government to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first wave of funds has been distributed by Cheshire West and Chester Council this week.

A total of £8.5 million has been paid out to the first of 6,000 firms eligible for support across the borough.

Of those businesses, 3,200 have responded with bank details to receive the cash, and the first 800 have been supported.

Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: "We are making great progress for those businesses that have registered, but we know there are still thousands of businesses who are entitled to this money and we urge them to register with our online system so that we can get the money to them as quickly as possible."

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There are two business grants available based on the rateable value of the business:

  • Scheme one focuses on businesses who are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief and Rural Rate relief with a rateable value of under £15,000 and will offer a grant of £10,000
  • Scheme two focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for organisations who do not receive small business rate relief and have a rateable value under £51,000 and will offer a grant of up to £25,000.

The council needs businesses to provide their bank details to ensure these grants can be paid as quickly as possible through BACS.

This can be done securely using the online form available on the council's business grants page

For businesses that the council does not have bank account details for, they may have to post cheques, but this is slower and there is a risk that the payment will be addressed to a building that is currently closed.