Date published: 16th April 2020

North Norfolk District Council has paid out more than £21million in Government grants to local businesses affected by Coronavirus – with another £45million in the pipeline to be distributed in the days ahead.

North Norfolk has the highest number of businesses potentially eligible for the Government grants at more than 5,000 – and the highest share of the £276million pot made available to local authorities in Norfolk, at £66million.

This has made processing the grants a mammoth task for our staff, who have been working around the clock to check and process applications, to make sure the money is distributed as quickly as possible to eligible businesses struggling to cope with the grave effects of COVID-19 on the North Norfolk economy.

With a huge percentage of businesses in North Norfolk relying directly or indirectly on tourism and visitors to our area, the effects of the Stay at Home message, banning of non-essential travel and the social distancing restrictions during the nationwide lockdown have been severe.

In addition to the £21million of grant support paid over the past week, the Council has already processed more than £26million in business rates relief to local companies.

Council Leader Sarah Butikofer said: “With nearly one-quarter of the total sum allocated for business grants in Norfolk by the Government being in North Norfolk, this underlines both the serious impact of Coronavirus on our tourism-driven local economy and the scale of the task facing our staff at NNDC in processing the thousands of applications coming in.

“We are working as fast as we can to facilitate the speedy payment of these grants to eligible businesses who have correctly completed the application process.

“If any businesses in our area want to check if they are eligible for grant support from the Government, they should visit our website, click on the red banner at the top of the home page and complete the simple eligibility calculator we have set up.

“Please can we also ask all of those applying for grant support to ensure the information they provide when completing their applications is 100 per cent correct, as mistakes slow the process down.

“We have already processed financial support for our local business community totalling more than £47million in the form of rates relief and Government grants. More help is available and we are absolutely committed to delivering it to the businesses in our area struggling as a direct result of Coronavirus.”

Last updated: 16th April 2020