New figures from Sefton Council show that during the COVID-19 pandemic local businesses accessed grants totalling almost £100m. Tony McDonough reports
Businesses in Sefton have secured almost £100m in support during the COVID-19 pandemic, new figures reveal.
According to Sefton Council, 23,000 grant payments were made to local businesses during 2020/21, through local, regional and national financial support schemes, totalling £97.7m.
Rate-paying businesses have also been helped through business rates discounts saving them £41.8m during 2020/21, with a further £22.5m in discounts awarded to eligible businesses for this financial year.
Sefton Council has put together a snapshot of the support offered to businesses since the pandemic began:
- The business rates team has received 27,000 requests for assistance compared to around 4,000 that would usually be received annually.
- InvestSefton has dealt with more than 4,000 enquiries from manufacturers to cafes and all sorts of businesses in between.
- The Council has expanded its connections across the borough, and after key Government updates it has regularly contacted over 2,600 businesses with the latest updates relevant to them.
- The InvestSefton website has had 40,000 visitors looking for help and support since March 2020 and similarly the dedicated Business Support page of the Sefton Council website has had 15,000 site visits from local businesses seeking support.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The past year and a half has been incredibly challenging for every single businesses owner here in our borough.
“Hundreds of businesses were forced to close at various stages throughout the lockdowns and many will still be facing uncertainty about their future as we focus on the economic recovery now needed.
“The mammoth efforts of our council officers have resulted in an incredible number of payments being issued to our businesses, offering a lifeline when they needed it the most. We recognise the key contribution these businesses make to the Sefton economy and we’ve been proud to support them through this time.
“Our businesses have been patient with us – as we’ve had to follow stringent processes and checks when administering these financial support packages – showing incredible resilience during these unprecedented times.”
To find out how InvestSefton can help your business telephone 0151 934 3452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.investsefton.com