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Monday, May 4, 2020

Fewer than average Llan businesses apply for Covid-19 grants

* County Councillor Graham Timms.

llanblogger exclusive

Less than three-quarters of eligible Llangollen businesses have so far applied for Welsh Government grants to help them through the coronavirus crisis – lower than the average take-up rate for Denbighshire.

And one of the town’s county councillors is urging them to apply for the cash aid as soon as possible.

Cllr Graham Timms said: “Llangollen has almost 300 businesses that are likely to qualify for a grant of either £10,000 or £25,000.

“However, I’m concerned that some businesses in the town have not applied for this vital support.

“Denbighshire County Council are administering the scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government, but so far only 189 businesses have applied.

“This means that more than 100 who are likely to be eligible have not yet submitted an application.

“Only 65% of Llangollen businesses have applied, a much lower figure than the Denbighshire average of 81%.”

He added: “The small business sector in Llangollen is a vital part of our economy and we need to ensure that they receive all the help that they are entitled to.

“Tourism has been hit very hard by the lockdown, with a devastating effect on all those who work in the sector or benefit by the trade that our visitors bring.

“The closure of shops and the fall in demand for most businesses is putting them under huge financial pressure.

“I urge those who operate from premises that have a rateable value of less than £51,000 who have not yet applied to look carefully at the two grants that are available.

“The application process is by a straightforward online form and payments are usually made within seven to 10 working days.

“There are bound to be some individual problems when dealing with so many applications and I have been kept busy working closely with some local businesses to help resolve some issues. I urge anyone having problems to contact either myself or Cllr Melvyn Mile to help speed things along.”

“I’d like to pay tribute to all the county council staff who have worked so hard at this difficult time to ensure that payments have been made as quickly as possible.

“Most of the staff are home-working at the moment and many have worked evenings, weekends and bank holidays to get the grants paid quickly. Diolchynfawr!

Grant facts

* Business premises that have a rateable value of £12,000 or less are eligible for a grant of £10,000.

* Those with rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000 and is in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will get £25,000.

* There are an estimated 293 businesses in Llangollen eligible to apply for grants.
Only 189 businesses (65%) have so far applied.

* In the whole Denbighshire there are an estimated 2,836 eligible businesses of which 2,295  (81%) have applied.

* The county council has so far paid out in 1,699 cases which is 74% of those which have applied.

* The council says it will start to do outreach work and signposting to help ensure that as many of those business that it thinks may be eligible have applied.

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