More than 200 local firms have been given a cash boost to help tide them over the coronavirus crisis in a grant scheme run by Huntingdonshire District Council.
Just over £1.6 million was handed out to firms who would otherwise have missed out on Government support in the discretionary grant scheme which has just ended.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, council leader, said: “Our local grant scheme has been a tremendous success in supporting Huntingdonshire businesses that had slipped through the net of the first tranche of Government business grants. We have done all we can to quickly get the funding into the hands of those who need it.
“Our focus has been to ensure our local businesses can access the help and support that they require, and we have revised the eligibility criteria of the scheme as necessary over the last few weeks to allow for as many of our affected local businesses as possible to receive financial support.”
Cllr Fuller said: “However, the Government allocation of £1.6 million can only go so far and there are more Huntingdonshire businesses that we would have liked to have been able to help and will do so if further Government funding for small businesses becomes available.”
The discretionary grant was introduced by the Government on the back of its small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grants, giving councils more scope to distribute the money to meet local economic circumstances and priorities.
The grant scheme allocated more than £1.6 million to businesses and charities in areas including bed and breakfasts, businesses with shared or serviced accommodation and market traders. It was later expanded to include applications from all small businesses.
Magpas Air Ambulance, which received a grant told the council: “In light of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak many of our usual fundraising activities have now stopped so your grant is even more important than ever.”
Other local businesses have also thanked the council for its support.
Gary Dyett, of RWJ & Son Ltd, said, “Thank you very much for that, very much appreciated and a great help to us. Also I would just like to say how efficient and helpful your whole department has been throughout my claim.”
Mark Doyle, of Fierce Angel Records, added: ”A little good news amongst all the bad.”