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20% of eligible Cornish businesses not signed up for support

20% of eligible Cornish businesses not signed up for support

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:49am 17th April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Businesses feeling the squeeze during the coronavirus outbreak are being urged to apply for help after it was revealed that 20% of firms eligible for support have not signed up.

A variety of financial and practical support is available for businesses during the current crisis and Cornwall Council has been paying out grant money provided by the Government.

Council leader Julian German said today that around 14,000 businesses in Cornwall have so far been helped, with the council paying out £160 million.

In addition Cllr German said that 207 businesses on the Isles of Scilly have also received grants totalling £2.3m.

But the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said it believed that around 20% of all businesses eligible for support had not yet made contact with the council.

LEP chairman Mark Duddridge said: “There are probably 20% of businesses that should be in receipt of that grant money but haven’t yet had a conversation with the council.

“We will be making sure that those people get that money.”

Mr Duddridge urged all businesses which are eligible to receive help to contact the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub which is offering advice and support to businesses.

He added: “We are extremely grateful to the council for moving as quickly as they have in getting the amount of loans out to the number of people they have.

“This was the only bit of relief available for some businesses and it was extremely important to get it out there and react as quickly as they did.”

Mr Duddridge admitted that there were still gaps in the provisions being made by the Government for businesses and said a letter had been sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the LEP and Cornwall’s MPs asking for more support for those who do not meet the criteria of current support.

He said that letter also included asking for more flexibility around the Government’s furlough scheme to help those who do not currently qualify.

Mr Duddridge said this was particularly an issue for Cornwall’s food and drink sector as well as seasonal workers.

For more information about the advice and support available for businesses go to https://www.ciosgrowthhub.com/

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