High Street business owners across Fylde are beginning to receive £25,000 cash grants and are exempt from business rates as of April 1.
The grants and exemption are part of an unprecedented £22 billion package announced by the Chancellor to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Eligible properties, including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, will not pay business rates for the next 12 months. The measure will save firms in England £11 billion.
The smallest businesses in these sectors are also beginning to receive one off grants of either £10,000 or £25,000, with money landing in their bank accounts.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “Our town and village centres in Fylde are packed with independent hops and businesses which are the lifeblood of our communities. I hope this step goes a long way to helping them through this incredibly difficult time. I know many businesses are still offering delivery services and I hope we all continue to support them wherever possible, to ensure they are there once the pandemic is over.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “High street businesses are at the core of what keeps our economy thriving.
“That is why we are taking the unprecedented step to provide businesses with the vital cash they need to ensure their survival during this difficult time.”
An early payment of £3.4 billion was made to local authorities on March 27 to ensure grants would get to businesses as soon as possible. Every local authority in England has now received the full amount of grant funding they need to support their local businesses.
The business rates holiday, which also applies to England’s nurseries, forms part of the government’s economic response to Covid-19.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: “Business rates can often be one of the main fixed costs for small companies up and down the country, which is why today’s suspension of business rates for retailers and our hospitality and leisure industries will offer much-needed support in these challenging times.”
The rates relief and grants are in addition to the government’s wide-ranging support for the economy. This includes the government paying the wages of millions of employed and self-employed people by covering 80 per cent of monthly incomes through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said: “Many small businesses across England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors alongside nurseries, estate and letting agents and bingo halls, will be very pleased that the one-year business rates holiday has started. This intervention combined with the quick delivery of grants for those small businesses eligible for the expanded Retail Discount and the 700,000 small businesses in receipt of small business rates relief and rural rate relief, could be the difference between surviving this crisis or folding.”