Missing information could cost Birmingham businesses COVID-19 grant funding
Up to 5,000 businesses in Birmingham could potentially miss out on grants of £10,000 or £25,000 if they do not provide up-to-date details for payments to be processed.
In response to COVID-19, the Government allocated £231 million to Birmingham City Council to make payments through the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
The grants, which do not need to be repaid, will be automatically processed by the council but are dependent on businesses ensuring they have provided all the accurate, up-to-date information required.
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “These grants from the Government have been introduced to help those businesses which have been identified as being most impacted by COVID-19. It doesn’t need to be repaid and businesses do not need to apply – they just need to supply us with the most up-to-date details so we can process payments.
“As of 29 April, we have paid out over £102.2 million to 8,240 businesses but we estimate there are still around 5,000 businesses who are entitled to this money but won’t receive it because we are missing vital information. We are working hard to identify these businesses and make contact, but ideally we need them to come to us.”
To help consolidate the necessary information, the council has created an online form where businesses can input the required details including bank, business and correspondence details. Once submitted, the council will make the payment within 21 days or contact the business if they do not qualify to explain the reasons why.
Cllr Ward added: “Before we make any payments, we need to verify all eligible businesses which is why we need all the necessary information in order to progress. There may be some businesses out there who are unsure whether or not they qualify; if that’s the case we would encourage them to review the criteria on our website or get in touch directly, as they have nothing to lose but potentially a significant grant to gain.”
The Government announced payments of £10,000 through the Small Business Grant, and funding of either £10,000 or £25,000 through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, depending upon the business’s rateable value.
The council has been working to promote the form through its digital channels, stakeholder partners and targeted messaging but is urging members of the business community to share the message among contacts.
For more information on the grant funds, or to submit business details for payment, visit www.birmingham.gov.uk and search Government Business Grants. Alternatively, to contact the council directly call 0121 303 5509 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors
Interviews are available with Cllr Ward upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org