Ealing Top of the Pack for Payments

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Ealing tops the national charts for making COVID-19 special grant payments to local businesses

Ealing Council takes first place amongst local authorities in the country in ensuring local businesses get the critical funding released by the government.

The details come as the latest business rates league table was released yesterday, Tuesday, 29 April, by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  Ealing Council had been announced as first in the capital when figures were initially released last week and have now taken the top spot nationally.

To date the council has delivered 94% of the £68.2 million it was awarded as part of the government’s financial aid package to support small businesses.

In just over three weeks, the council has issued £64 million to 95% of businesses or more than 4,688 businesses across the borough on behalf of the government. A final batch of payments will be issued later this week to the remaining recipients.

The government support means that every business with a rateable value below £15,000 will receive a grant of up to £10,000. While larger businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries, that are eligible, will receive £25,000 if they have a rateable value above £15,000 but below £51,000.

“When we found out that we had got the 100% rate relief it was a godsend,” said John Langford, co-director of Braybrook & Britten, an independent, online jewellers, who have been based in Ealing for the last 25 years.

“The rate relief will help because firms like us don’t run with a lot of fat around us, and it now stops quite so much cash having to be spent,” he said.

“We also received a £25k grant which will provide us with a source to pay salaries due.  If Ealing Council hadn’t moved so quickly there was no way that we could have paid those salaries.”

As a result of the financial aid, John said, “We now have a plan – we can get ourselves through to October and the busy Christmas period.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure, said: “I am so proud of the effort our small finance team has put in to ensure that these business grants get to local businesses at this critical time.  Working round the clock to get these vital funds out ahead of any other authority is a huge achievement.

“We’ve gone above and beyond too, ensuring registered nurseries also receive a minimum £15,000 grant to help sustain them at this time.  Local businesses are the lifeblood of our vibrant community and business owners in Ealing can be assured that we are here to help get you through these troubling times.”

Eligible businesses who have not yet received their funding should check their bank accounts and post, including their business premises for payments.

Those who have not received their funding by the end of this week should get in touch with the council’s business rates team by emailing: businessratesteam@ealing.gov.uk or calling 020 8825 7020.

Business owners are reminded to be wary of scams, and should not pay anyone to access the grants that they are entitled to. If a business is eligible for the relief, the council will contact them.

Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “Delivering these business grants is just the first step in ensuring local businesses get the boost that they need.

“We have also been campaigning on their behalf and we are delighted that the government is responding with the new Bounce Back Loan for small and mid-sized businesses, backed by a 100% government guarantee and raising the cap to £50,000, which we pushed for.”

In addition to the government funding, Ealing Council has established a £1.5 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund to ensure that there is financial support available to businesses, community organisations and residents.

The fund includes additional relief for registered nursery providers, funding for vital community services and additional support for the council’s existing financial support for residents.

For more information and advice about the support available during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit Ealing Council’s coronavirus web pages at www.ealing.gov.uk/coronavirus