SMALL businesses in Bury have started receiving government grants of up to £25,000 this week.

Bury Council has been allocated £42.9m of government money to hand out to businesses in the borough in a bid to help them survive the coronavirus crisis.

An estimated 2,800 businesses have been identified as being eligible for the grants of £10,000 and a further 370 businesses are set to benefit from grants of £25,000.

Chief executive Geoff Little said the council started paying the grants to businesses on Wednesday.

But some small businesses say they have not received any money yet.

Simon Shekyls is the director of GVL Management, a transport consultancy based in Bury town centre.

He said: “Two weeks since the statement about small business rates relief grant monies, I know of nobody that has received any of this support.

“I’ve yet to hear any fellow business people being able to access these government underwritten loans. Telephone lines are not accessible, no online application opportunities from non-bank clients. The barriers are immense.

“My staff are suffering anxiety while I seek ways to liquidate personal assets.

“It’s easy to say all of this support is available but our experience these past two traumatic weeks are we’ve been fed platitudinous government rhetoric – whether it be local or national – and precious little else.”

The coronavirus financial support grant has been made available by the government to help small and medium sized enterprises.

This grant is for businesses that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The government announced that grant funding of £10,000 would be available for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme also provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

The council’s chief executive revealed that there have been some short-term issues implementing the scheme but said that the grants would be automatically paid to eligible businesses from Wednesday, April 1.

Mr Little said: “They don’t have to apply, they simply need to meet the criteria. If they meet the criteria, they simply get the grants. However, there are a wider range of other support schemes.”

The council said it would ease the pressure on businesses who rent premises from the council in retail units, industrial buildings and business centres.

The local authority has promised to give a rent holiday of up to two months in the first instance to those who can demonstrate need.

All market traders will get a two-month rent holiday, dated from 16 March, with the possibility of more support if the crisis is prolonged.

Many could also be eligible for national intervention programmes.



All businesses are now receiving a revised rates bill and direct debits will not be claimed from those businesses that no longer have to pay.

It is estimated that 400 businesses will benefit from the new reliefs across the borough.

Debt reminders will not be sent out in April in order to remove pressure on businesses.

Bury North MP James Daly has urged business owners to claim the financial support available.

He said:  “Many businesses have successfully applied and received their grant.

“The scheme is part of a wider package of government support for Bury’s businesses and employees.”


Business owners can complete an online application form for support on the Bury Council website.

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