Salford firms urged to apply for Covid relief funds as millions are still available

Firms in Salford that were hit by the pandemic and lockdowns are being urged to apply for funding support that is still available in the city.

The rateable value cap of £130,000 for Covid-19 relief for businesses in the borough is being dropped as Salford City Council tries to get more firms to apply for cash help.

The authority was allocated nearly £8m from the Government’s £1. 5bn Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund for SMEs to help them through the pandemic.

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But only 45% of firms eligible have applied, which means there is still £4.3m to be distributed.

With only several weeks remaining until the September 23 deadline for applications, the council has opened the fund up to all businesses.

At a briefing of the lead member for finance and support services, Councillor Bill warned that funds would be allocated on a “first come first served basis”.

“With only a few weeks left, it’s important we let everyone know and that we get the money out,” he said.

“It bewilders me that in times like these we are almost begging people to apply.”

However, the 45% take-up of the grant is higher than in most other Greater Manchester authorities.

If not enough businesses apply, the remaining cash will be distributed equally between the firms that have already been allocated cash.

Salford’s chief finance officer Joanne Hardman added: “Our main objective is maximising grants for local businesses. I think this is the right move. It puts in place a safety valve with it being on a first come first served basis.”

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