Bath & North East Somerset Council is reassuring businesses that it is gearing up to process government support grants as quickly as possible following the introduction of a new scheme due to the current lockdown.

The council is experiencing high demand for the government grant support to businesses and is committing more resources to ensure that the business grants will be processed and payments made more quickly to meet the needs of local businesses.

The current situation means that the council is having to deal with a set of changing circumstances and complex grant procedures following several changes in both the local and national restrictions and the impact on the business grants scheme.

This is primarily due to the changes in lock down arrangements since the beginning of November where the local area went from a national lockdown, to Tier 2 local restrictions, then to Tier 3 restrictions during the Christmas and New Year period and back in to another national lockdown in early January.

These changes affect the type and nature of grants which local businesses are entitled to and will make the processing and payment of the grants far more complex than the situation following the first national lockdown.

The council is introducing some other measures to improve its assessing and processing and has this week taken a number of immediate steps including:

  • Daily payments runs will be re-introduced from today (January 14)
  • Building in some further resilience to the final sign off and payment process
  • Daily updates on number claims processed, received and outstanding will again be published
  • Additional resources have now been identified and deployed to ensure the current backlog is reduced, especially the Additional Restrictions Grant

Councillor Richard Samuel, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Resources, said: “We are acutely aware of the importance of these grants reaching businesses as soon as possible, which is why we are committing as much resource as we can to the new scheme. The rapidly changing Covid restrictions have affected the government grants that local businesses are entitled to each time there has been a change, which has made processing them accurately a complex task.

“I’d like to reassure businesses that we are working as hard as we can to manage the new scheme effectively and get it up and running in the shortest possible time.”

For eligible businesses that may need to apply, please visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-and-advice/help-businesses

Visit www.investinbath.co.uk to find out about the range of support and advice available to local businesses.

Find all council services updates at https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus