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Support for pandemic-hit businesses in Swansea climbs to £155m

SWANSEA Council is paying out millions of pounds in extra support to help local businesses protect jobs and weather the challenges of Covid-19.

This week almost 2,400 businesses liable to pay business rates across the city have been paid out more than £10m. The grants will reach bank accounts by the end of this week and follow Welsh Government announcements last Friday about continuing restrictions on non-essential retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

As many payments as possible have been made automatically into the accounts of those businesses who had received support before, during the Firebreak lockdown and the more recent December restrictions period.

Rob Stewart, Leader of the Council, said that in addition to this latest round of support, Swansea Council’s Cabinet has agreed to plans to grant full relief from businesses rates for the coming financial year for thousands of businesses and other ratepayers across the city in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

This business rates relief will be worth £35m and will also benefit around 2,400 qualifying small businesses. The rates relief scheme is funded by the Welsh Government.

It means that since the start of the pandemic the council has handed out more than £155m in business grants and rates relief funded by the Welsh Government to thousands of local businesses, helping protect jobs across the city, he said.

Although thousands of businesses have been paid the latest round of business rates grants automatically, some eligible businesses who have not had one before will have to apply for the latest support, as required by Welsh Government. An online form is available to do this on the Council’s web page www.swansea.gov.uk/restrictionsfundNDR.

The form will only be available until 5 pm on Wednesday 31st March 2021. After that, the grant fund will be closed to further applications so businesses need to act swiftly if they need to apply.

Businesses not liable to pay Business Rates may be able to apply for a discretionary grant if they have not applied to date within the extended restrictions discretionary grant scheme and they will also need to apply for those grants using the online form on the Council’s web page –  www.swansea.gov.uk/restrictionsfunddiscretionary

More general information available to businesses about how to manage through the Covid-19 pandemic can be found here: www.swansea.gov.uk/covid19adviceforbusinesses and on the Business Wales website – www.businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/covid-19-support-business

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