South Gloucestershire Council has made a further 219 grant awards, totalling almost £1.2m, under the Government’s Discretionary Small Business Support Grants programme, as part of our commitment to helping local companies respond to the Covid-19 crisis and be ready to thrive once more when trading conditions improve.
In this final round for small businesses we allowed those working from their homes to apply, going above and beyond the standard criteria set by the Government.
The most recent round of grants means we have now allocated nearly £40million to retailers and hospitality and leisure businesses; as well as including targeted help for some of our smallest businesses through the discretionary grant scheme.
In total we have now allocated more than £105million in funding, including grants and £65million in business rates relief, to firms of all kinds in South Gloucestershire which have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grants have helped make a real difference to many local firms including businesses in the hospitality, engineering and financial services sectors; childcare providers; and suppliers of materials and professional services to a range of larger companies in the landscaping, construction and aviation industries, for example.
Conditions for traders of all kinds remain difficult as we continue our efforts to keep employees of local businesses and their customers as safe as possible from Covid-19, so it is vital that we do our part as a Council to help support our economy at this time.
The making of grants has made a real difference to many of these local firms, including Bunch Florists in in Staple Hill. Owner, Georgina Lake, said: “During lockdown, local people really came to value even more their local businesses. They have seen that by investing in us, we make where they live a place they want to be. We don’t just provide a quality shopping experience, but we help make the high street somewhere people can enjoy. The grant we have received has helped keep us going when people haven’t been able to use their high street in the way we’d all like. It means we will be there once we have beaten this illness together.”
Sandra Davies, landlady of The Swan in Thornbury, said: “These have been incredibly difficult conditions for us, but we are able to carry on, and provide somewhere for local people to come to spend time safely for something to eat and drink, thanks to that same community’s support and to the Council who have helped out with a grant. We want to be here for our customers for the long term, so this help to get through such tough times is invaluable.”
Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources Cllr Ben Burton said: “Local Businesses are at the heart of our local high streets and communities. They are part of why we love where we live and they provide not just direct employment to local people, but also contribute to the economic activity that makes our high streets viable.
“We have and will continue to work with local traders to support our high streets and these grant programmes have and will continue to mean that local businesses can ride out these incredibly difficult times and be there for us when we come out the other side of this.”