Business owners in Wigan Borough are being urged to apply for grants to help them recover from the impact of Covid-19.
Since receiving two funding streams in March and June, Wigan Council has been one of the quickest authorities in Greater Manchester to allocate grants to support local businesses.
Latest figures show that more than 71 per cent of the small business and retail grant and 50 per cent of the discretionary business grant have now been distributed.
But, the local authority is calling for more businesses to apply so they don’t miss out.
Leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux said: “Our teams have been working tirelessly over recent weeks and months to ensure our businesses are aware of the funding opportunities to them during this uncertain time.
“Our businesses are vital to our local economy and it’s really important that as many businesses as possible apply for the funding available.
“There will be some businesses in the borough that haven’t yet applied or been engaged with the council, so it’s those businesses we need to reach.
“The bottom line is, we do not know how long this funding will be available to us. As lockdown measures ease and with more businesses beginning to reopen, these schemes could be closed by the government at any time. With this in mind, we want to distribute as much of this funding as possible while we are still able to.”
Overall, 5,400 businesses have received more than £61 million in financial support, with grants ranging from £1,000 to £25,000
And, although the funding streams have eligibility criteria attached, the local authority is telling businesses not to let that stop them from applying.
Coun Molyneux added: “We have been contacting businesses directly where we hold details, but we’re reliant on others being proactive and getting in touch.
“We’re concerned that some businesses might not apply for the funding because they think they’re not eligible, when actually they could be.
“We’re asking all small businesses in the borough to get in touch if they haven’t yet received grants. We can go through the criteria with them and will let them know more about the process. And, if it turns out that a business is not eligible, we will always signpost to further support that may be more suitable.”
The discretionary business grant scheme was created by the government in June following national feedback that not all businesses were covered through the small business and retail grant scheme.
Wigan Council has extended the window of the discretionary fund for a second time and has set a new deadline of 31 July for applications.
For more information about the support available, visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/covidsupportforbusiness