Councils taking ‘too long’ to pay support grants to businesses

By William Eichler | 01 April 2021

The Government has written to the leaders of 314 councils in England urging them to pay out grants money to businesses more quickly.

In a letter, small business minister Paul Scully and tourism minister Nigel Huddleston urged local authorities to distribute grants more quickly.

They wrote: ‘It is vital that funds are paid out as quickly as possible to those that need it and many local authorities have risen to the challenge.

‘However, some have taken too long to do so, which is why we are writing to all local authorities encouraging you to press on and continue to get this money to businesses in good time to ensure your communities are ready to build back better following the pandemic.’

A London Councils spokesperson said: 'There has been significant investment in speeding up the delivery of grants, with staff seconded in and working weekends.

'Boroughs are turning around additional restrictions grant applications within a five-day period.

'In the first round of discretionary grant boroughs delivered 97% of their allocation by the September deadline.

'However, ensuring public money is spent appropriately and tackling potential fraud takes time.'

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