Flood-affected Shropshire businesses set to receive grant funding this week
Over 95% of the first tranche of Shropshire business to apply for grant support to help them recover from the recent floods have had their applications approved – with the money due to be paid this week.
Business affected by the flooding can still apply to Shropshire Council by visiting the council website – www.shropshire.gov.uk – and following the link on the homepage.
Shropshire Council is able to give business recovery grants of up to £2,500 that can be awarded to small and medium-sized businesses that have been directly or indirectly impacted by the February 2020 flooding.
The council can also award 100% business rate relief for a minimum of three months, or until the business is able to resume trading from the property if this is longer.
Applications opened last Wednesday (4 March) with over 130 applications to date and 80 in the first tranche. Applications are being reviewed, processed and approved on a daily basis as they come in.
It’s believed that Shropshire Council is one of the first councils to start paying out to flood-affected businesses, and has been able to get approvals through within one week of opening up applications.
The online application form can be found on the Shropshire Council website. Each business is asked to provide some further information before the business recovery grant or any business rates flood relief can be awarded.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said:
“We recognise how devastating the flooding impacts have been in parts of the county and how this is affecting our residents and businesses. We hope that the grants available will go some way to relieving some of the immediate pressures that they’re facing.
“We want to process payments to those businesses affected as soon as possible to assist with recovery, and our team have been busy processing all of the applications that have come in so far so that money can be paid quickly to eligible businesses.
“I’m really pleased that almost all applications have been successful and that payments are already being made.
“We want all businesses affected by the flooding to complete our short application form, and I urge any who haven’t so far to do so as soon as possible.”
Mark and Paula Edwards, owners of Chase Car Care Centre on Smithfield Road in Shrewsbury, applied for funding after the floods forced them to shut for the past three weeks – though they hope to open again soon.
The flood water entered their property on all sides, not just when the river burst its banks onto Smithfield Road, leaving them marooned alongside a number of other businesses in the area.
As one of the first Shropshire businesses to hear of their application being approved they said:
“It helps take some of the financial burden off us at this difficult time. The key thing for us is to get re-opened and get some of the trade back that has been lost. Frustratingly our loyal customers have had to go elsewhere but we hope they will return to us when we are back to normal.”
Businesses are also being advised that the annual business rate bills for 2020/21 have already been produced, and won’t reflect any business rate flood relief that they may be eligible for.
Any business rate flood relief will be credited directly to their business rate account, and an amended bill will follow.