£50m to support small businesses in north Norfolk during lockdown

North Norfolk has seen the smallest regional increase in deaths on the previous five years between M

North Norfolk has seen the smallest regional increase in deaths on the previous five years between March 7 and May 15 2020. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

More than £50m has been paid by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to support small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

The council said it was the largest allocation for small business grants in the county.

And a spokesman added that it had provided much-needed financial help to more than 4,500 businesses.

NNDC revenues manager Sean Knight said: “This has been an exceptionally busy time for a number of teams across the council as we’ve worked flat-out to try and get these grants paid to thousands of eligible businesses across the district as quickly as we can.

“It is a real credit to the staff that these payments, the largest amount I am aware of the council ever processing, have been processed in a little over six weeks.”

Leader of the council Sarah Bütikofer added: “This is an incredibly difficult time for our business community. I want to thank our hard-working staff for processing these much-needed grants so swiftly.

“We are committed to continuing to support our community moving forward. For example, conducting surveys to support our recovery plan, and work is under way to design the application process for the Government’s discretionary grant.”

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The council said that the success of the scheme was recognised by Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister of State for Business and Industry, during a phone call on May 18. A spokesman said she recognised the effort put in by staff and thanked them for paying out such a large sum of money to local businesses.

MORE: North Norfolk ‘suffering really badly’, says councillor, as Covid-19 financial losses mountWhile the council has managed to pay these grants to 91pc of the businesses that were initially assessed as eligible, there are still around 500 who have not claimed the support. Any businesses that received a letter from the council should get in contact as soon as they can.

The Government announced on May 2 that it intended to set up a discretionary fund to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme, and NNDC staff have designed an application process to access this fund. The discretionary grant application process should open on June 1.