Date issued: 26 February 2021
On the 24 February 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released data highlighting that Colchester Borough Council is third best in the country for the distribution of Covid Discretionary Business Support Grants.
The data, which looks at the amount of Discretionary Grants awarded against the sum allocated to authorities, reveals that Colchester had awarded 92% on the 18 January 2021.
Since the 18 January 2021, Colchester has received additional government funding and has continued to extend the scheme to support more sectors and to distribute the remaining funding. As of 24 February 2021, the council has awarded £5.32million in Discretionary Business Support Grants since November.
Business leaders, including the Business Improvement District and Simply Dance Colchester, have contacted the council to thank staff for distributing the vital support so swiftly.
Jodie Wambeek, Principal of Simply Dance Colchester, said: “I have been extremely grateful and impressed with the team working on distributing grants at Colchester Borough Council. Had it not been for them, my studio that I have worked so hard for would be no more and my students would have nowhere to dance once lockdown is over.
“Every time I receive an email to let me know I’m eligible for another grant I would be filled with a sense of relief, knowing that I had survived another month.
“Thank you, Colchester Borough Council, for being so prompt and efficient and making sure the children can carry on dancing.”
Councillor David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “It’s stories like Jodie’s which remind us why a great support scheme delivered swiftly is vital. I am pleased for her and her business.
“For nearly a year now, Colchester Borough Council has been working hard to distribute grants – continuously reviewing eligibility criteria to ensure we can support as many businesses as possible, working with businesses and keeping them up-to-date on plans and progress every step of the way.
“Sadly, we are unable to help everyone with the current funding and guidance given to us. I am sorry for those businesses who, despite our best efforts, cannot be helped. To those and others planning for the future, I encourage you to speak with the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea). The council is ensuring they can get fully funded 1:1 business advice.”
For more information on Colbea visit https://colbea.co.uk/business-advice-coronavirus.
The data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was released the same day that the council distributed an additional £2.7million in lockdown support grants ahead of receiving the funding from central government.
Councillor David King added: “The council’s decision to distribute vital support to businesses ahead of receiving funding from the Government shows our commitment to support as many businesses as possible, as soon as possible.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of Covid-19, I would like to applaud the hard-working teams at Colchester. In less than 12 months they have distributed £51.5million to businesses in our borough. We are proud of their attitudes and work and the impact they have made, supporting businesses and those they employ. As the Government recognises, they are one of the very best teams in the country. That's great for Colchester.”
For information on the council’s response to Covid-19 and on business grants visit www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus. If a business has already applied for a grant they do not need to apply again, and the council will contact them if they’re eligible for grants at a later stage.
Page last reviewed: 26 February 2021