Neath Port Talbot Council has paid out a total of £36.2m in grant support to help local businesses protect jobs and deal with the effects of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
On Christmas Eve 2020, the council reports having processed 550 payments totalling £1.8m into the bank accounts of businesses it was able to identify as non-essential retail outlets forced to close as a result of the latest Welsh Government business restrictions that were also paid during the Firebreak period.
The Council says its officers worked tirelessly to process the payments to ensure they were received before Christmas and ahead of the timetable set out by Welsh Government.
These payments were in addition to 250 already processed into the bank accounts of businesses in the hospitality sector who had been impacted by the 4th December trading restrictions.
During the first week of January the Council has made a further 88 business support payments totalling £278,000.
Online application processes are available for non-essential retail and leisure sector businesses that have not received an automatic payment before Christmas; and for discretionary grants subject to various criteria being met.
Support is also available for retail businesses and businesses operating in the supply chain to the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry where they can demonstrate a 40% or more reduction in turnover as a result of the recent restrictions.
Further information is available on the Council’s website.
Under the business restrictions scheme announced by the Welsh Government there have been two main types of grant available – business rates-related grants and discretionary grants.
Councillor Carol Clement-Williams, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Our teams have been pulling out all the stops to make sure the right support gets to the right businesses as soon as possible within the requirements set out by Welsh Government.
“We have been asked to make automatic grant payments to hospitality businesses that were given a Firebreak grant earlier this year and millions of pounds has already been paid out with more to follow.
“I want to thank our staff who have worked tirelessly to make the grants scheme work effectively and I would also pay tribute to the businesses which have kept going and kept their customers and staff safe during this pandemic.”