In response to Government publishing data on coronavirus grant funding today, Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ Executive member for Business, Europe and Good Growth, said:
“Supporting local businesses throughout the pandemic so they are able to power the long-term economic recovery remains a huge priority for all London boroughs.
“Data published by the Government today on the amount of grant funding councils have allocated to businesses is over a month (18th January) out of date and does not reflect the current position. Boroughs are working incredibly hard and have a proven track record delivering grants effectively. They are redeploying and training more staff and exploring automation to speed up the process further.
“Unfortunately, boroughs face a number of barriers to getting grants out, which we would like Government to help us address. These include the complexity of the grants system - there have been 12 different grants announced since November 2020 with different criteria - and delays in publishing essential guidance on allocating funding.
“Boroughs have also found that discretionary grant levels do not reflect the growing need among London’s businesses. The per capita calculation for distribution disadvantages areas with large business populations and relatively lower resident populations, such as central London.
“The current discretionary grant must last until March 2022, as no additional funds were announced with Monday’s launch of the roadmap. Unless further funding is announced in the upcoming Budget, boroughs must manage funding wisely to ensure it lasts for the next 15 months.
“We will continue to work with Government on improving support for businesses and we are pleased with the reports on the extension of business rates relief to be announced in next week’s Budget.”
Notes to editors:
Government data on coronavirus grant funding can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-loc...