Northumberland County Council pays out £20million to help 2,000 small businesses - here's how to apply for cash

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Small businesses in Northumberland are being reminded to apply for coronavirus grants, with the council having already handed out £20million.

To help mitigate the impacts of the shutdown, firms which already receive small business rate relief and rural rate relief can apply for a £10,000 grant, while retail, hospitality or leisure businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 can apply for a £25,000 grant.

Northumberland County Council has a total of £80million to help businesses, and has revealed that it has paid out more than £20million to help almost 2,000 small businesses with another 2,000 having registered online.

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Others who are eligible being reminded to do the same as soon as possible in order to receive their cash, with the registration form available at


Council leader Peter Jackson said: "Our immediate priority is to protect as many businesses and jobs as possible, so that we are in a good position for a strong recovery when the time comes."

Teams at the council are verifying each registration and processing payments within five to 10 working days from approval, ensuring that all eligible businesses get fast access to funding.

Coun Jackson added: "Many businesses are understandably feeling overwhelmed by the financial challenges they are facing, and we are committed to supporting them as much as we possibly can at this challenging time.

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"Support available can be confusing and we urge businesses to get in touch if they are unsure, so that we can help them to access funding and the right support as quickly as we can."

More than 600 businesses in the county have already been in touch with the dedicated team since the new Northumberland Business Hub was set up.

The Treasury has announced that as well as beginning to receive their grants, the exemption from business rates has now started for thousands of firms nationally.

As part of a raft of unprecedented measures announced by the Chancellor to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, eligible properties will not pay business rates for the next 12 months.

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Addressing the daily coronavirus press conference on Wednesday, April 1, Business Secretary Alok Sharma stated that councils had now received more than £12billion for the grants.

Coun Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said: “Councils are leading local efforts to support businesses as they try to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

“They are working at pace to ensure this vital funding can reach businesses as quickly as possible and many have already begun distributing money in their area.

“We are supporting councils to identify and resolve practical issues around this scheme. There are businesses which do not qualify for this support and we are also reporting these gaps to the Government.”