"We have worked hard and played our part in getting the grants paid out quickly and efficiently in order to preserve as many businesses and jobs as possible."
Businesses have expressed their gratitude to the council for its work in distributing grants over the pandemic.
Braintree District Council has distributed £54 million in business grants since the Government’s financial support measures began as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Grants ranging from £500 to £25,000 from 12 different grant schemes have been paid to support businesses impacted by restrictions.
More than 10,700 grants have been administered over the period.
The emergency grants were issued to local businesses from monies received from central and local Government. Essex County Council financed two out of the 12 grants to help businesses outside the scope of the other schemes.
These grants have been vital to the local economy – helping ensure the survival of shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs and many other customer-facing businesses. The financial support has also helped small firms in shared office spaces and businesses supplying goods and services to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Support for businesses over the last financial year also included the suspension of £18.8 million in business rates to 864 retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and 21 nurseries.
Compliance Labelling Solutions, a business which supplies the retail market with labels, was one of the businesses eligible for grant support.
Matthew Day, Managing Director at Compliance Labelling Solutions in Braintree said: “We experienced a sharp decline in revenue when the initial lockdown was announced and when the local restrictions were put into place. This financial support has been invaluable in allowing us to pay our overheads in terms of rent and bills and also support our staff. A special thanks to the team at the council for helping us access the right support and getting us through what has been a challenging time.”
Witham based Team Kinetix and the Essex Gliding Club in Ridgewell were also successful applicants. Their grants, paid for by Essex County Council, allowed them to buy safety equipment to keep their businesses Covid-19 secure.
Allen Cherry, Treasurer at the Essex Gliding Club in Ridgewell, said: “We would like to thank the council for their outstanding work in administrating the grants through this pandemic – their efficiency has ensured the survivability of our club.”
Brad Wendes, Head Coach and Company Director at Team Kinetix in Witham said: “The grant allowed us to buy screens, sign a one-way system and install hand sanitisers. From sending in the grant application to receiving payment was really quick which meant that we didn’t have to worry about additional costs.”
Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Braintree District Council, said: “Since the restrictions began last year, we have helped thousands of businesses, across a number of different sectors, access much needed financial support. We have worked hard and played our part in getting the grants paid out quickly and efficiently in order to preserve as many businesses and jobs as possible. As well as supporting businesses with grants, we have also helped over 1,000 businesses access advice, training and support through the referrals made to our local growth hubs and business partners.”