"Supporting businesses with this localised scheme over the pandemic helped protect local jobs, incomes and livelihoods.”
Findings from research reveal that grants paid out by Braintree District Council over the pandemic helped safeguard jobs and were a lifeline to many businesses.
The research evaluated the impact of monies given to help businesses become COVID-secure over the pandemic.
Small and medium businesses were given grants up the value of £5,000 to adjust their environment in order to trade legally and safely.
The grants, known as ‘business adaptation’ grants, paid for the purchase of protective screens, barriers and sanitising stations and items such as outdoor seating, shelter and lighting.
The findings from the research reveal the following:
- 64 per cent of businesses said the grants helped safeguard jobs
- 62 per cent of recipients felt that the adjustments kept customers safe
- 47 per cent felt it was crucial to the survival of the business
- 32 per cent saw an increase in turnover because of the grants
£1.6 million business adaptation grants were paid to 641 businesses within the Braintree District over the pandemic.
Braintree District Council administered and distributed the grants on behalf of Essex County Council.
Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Braintree District Council, said: “The results show that the adaptation grants were vital to the local economy – helping ensure the survival of many shops, restaurants, hotels and pubs and many other customer-facing businesses. Supporting businesses with this localised scheme over the pandemic also helped protect local jobs, incomes and livelihoods.”
Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council, said: “This research shows the positive difference the Business Adaptation Grant Scheme made to businesses in Braintree during what was a difficult time for many. Across Essex, the scheme supported thousands of local businesses, helping them safeguard and create new jobs, supporting their recovery and helping build a stronger economy for the future.”
Braintree District Council has issued £55.9 million in grants to more than 3,000 businesses in total since the government’s financial support measures began as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.