GRANT payments totalling £8.5 million have been paid to local businesses over the weekend by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

A total of 6,000 companies across West Cheshire are eligible for a payment of either £10,000 or £25,000 as part of a range of support to help them through the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

Councillor Carol Gahan, cabinet member for legal and finance, said: “To make sure we can pay this grant as quickly as possible we have asked businesses to provide their bank account details using a secure online form.

“Last week we received details from almost 3,200 businesses, over 880 have now had grants (totalling £8.5m) paid through BACS and from today should see the money in their bank accounts. We are continuing with payments this week.”

Councillor Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: "We are making great progress for those businesses that have registered, but we know there are still thousands of businesses who are entitled to this money and we urge them to register with our online system so that we can get the money to them as quickly as possible.”

There are two business grants available based on the rateable value of the business these are:

• scheme one focuses on businesses who are in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief and Rural Rate relief with a rateable value of under £15,000 and will offer a grant of £10,000

• scheme two focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for organisations who do not receive small business rate relief and have a rateable value under £51,000 and will offer a grant of up to £25,000.

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