Scarborough Council has paid out more than half of grants to businesses hit hardest by coronavirus

More than half of the £68 million allocated to support businesses across the Scarborough borough hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic has now been paid out.

Friday, 17th April 2020, 9:42 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 9:43 am

Scarborough Borough Council has revealed that it has distributed £38.5m of the government’s coronavirus grant funding to businesses.

The council said it has been working every day of the week, including evenings and the recent bank holidays, to process the payments and will continue to do so until every business eligible for a grant has received their payment.

The authority has processed 4,874 data forms and paid out 3,395 individual grants but it believes that there should be 5,877 businesses in the borough eligible for a grant. It added that not all eligible businesses may have applied.

Scarborough Town Hall. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

A council spokesman said: “Many forms have been relatively straightforward to process but around 900 are requiring additional dialogue with the business concerned.

“This is due to a number of reasons, including duplicate forms submitted, different bank details provided to those the council already has on file for a business and in some cases, forms submitted for properties that weren’t being used for business purposes prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Where further clarification is required before a grant can be paid, the council is calling business owners directly. Any business owner seeing the council’s number, 01723 232323, on their caller display, should answer the call to help the council process the grant as swiftly as possible.”

Cllr Janet Jefferson, the council’s cabinet member for Corporate Resources, called for patience while the grants were processed.

She said: “Thank you to all businesses that have submitted a data form to us and for your ongoing patience as our team continues to throw everything it has at getting the grant payments made as quickly as possible.

“Due to the typical type and size of businesses in our borough, we are dealing with the largest grant allocation in the York and North Yorkshire region and so we are currently unable to respond to individual emails chasing us for payment.

“We know this is a difficult time for all businesses, but we ask you to continue to bear with us and we will get to your payment as soon as we possibly can.”

Businesses can find out more information on grant eligibility and submit a data form online via the coronavirus page at scarborough.gov.uk.