Local business support in response to Coronavirus
30 March 2020Local businesses have been providing a wide range of support and services across the borough in response to the Coronavirus. Equally hard hit by the pandemic, a range of financial support was announced by the Government over the last two weeks.
There are nearly 6,000 local businesses eligible for a Business Rate support grant with payments expected to start on Wednesday 1 April. In order to make payments quickly and avoid delays of posting cheques the Council is appealing to businesses to provide their bank details this can be done securely using an online form on the Council's website.
The data capture site was published on Friday and has been a great success so far with 500 businesses logging in to update their bank details. The more businesses that do this the quicker the much needed financial support can be provided.
Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance, said: “There has been tremendous support from our businesses across the borough and a big thank you to everyone who has been able to help.
“Many businesses of course have had to be closed temporarily and a wide range of support has been announced. I’d like to encourage local businesses to visit our support page and complete the secure form so that the Business Rate support grant can be paid as quickly as possible from 1 April. This can be done securely using an online form.”
CH1 ChesterBID has produced a web page for businesses to share ways they can continue to offer support throughout this public health emergency, this ranges from delivery services, gift vouchers, online sales or take away food and drink: https://experiencechester.co.uk/chestertogether/.
The Cheshire Community Foundation has launched a Cheshire & Warrington COVID-19 Response Fund to support charities facing increased demand. The Fund will support charitable projects providing activities that help vulnerable people self-isolating, provide funding to coordinate community response and support volunteers, and increase capacity for organisations providing emergency support, such as foodbanks or benefits advice.
In response to the pandemic the Steve Morgan Foundation has introduced an emergency fund to support charities and not for profit companies in Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire west of the M6. The fund, of up to £1 million a week for an initial 12 weeks, will be open to charities and not for profit organisations across the region to help with the costs of additional emergency services to support people affected by the virus; it will also help charities experiencing a loss of fundraising revenue to stay in business.