As a result of our telephone calls to thousands of Liverpool residents we have been asking a series of questions to the Council. These are the responses we have received to our business grant questions
As part of our work we have relayed to the Council a series of questions that we have been asked by local residents when we have been calling up people throughout the City whose telephone numbers we have. This is the one queries about business grants. In addition to this general request for information we have taken up a number of specific cases where people have voiced their concern to us about their own applications.
If you have any concerns about specific issues during the Covid-19 outbreak which relate to services or schemes run by the Council please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are only able to take up specific cases in our own wards but we will ensure, unless you tell us otherwise, that the problems are problems are directed to one of your own councillors.
The response from the Council to our questions:
As at Friday we have awarded 3,418 grants to a value of £43.855M. The total funding made available by Government is £107.8M.
We estimate that up to a maximum of 9,000 businesses may be eligible but it is notable that state aid rules apply, so some businesses within that number will not be eligible.
We wrote to all potentially eligible businesses on 06.04.20. Unfortunately for most of the businesses that are potentially eligible we do not hold bank details (they receive 100% small business rates relief) and therefore it is necessary to gather that information.
By way of further context to the processing of grants as at Friday:
- We had 570 accounts where we have requested additional information.
- We have refused just over 200 applications that did not meet the criteria for various reasons.
- There are 930 applications with liability queries – these include organisations that were not liable for Business Rates as at 11.03.20 ( a condition of the scheme) and will require review by the Business Rates team.
In the coming week we will commence outreach to stimulate further take up amongst those businesses that have failed to make contact. We will deliver further mailshots, e-mails and look to design some outbound calling for those that appear eligible but have yet to make contact. The accounts will be identified and segmented by contact details held to plan the take up campaign. I will provide a further update on the number of accounts where an application has been made and the remaining number yet to apply as the above reports are run.