Rescue grants tied up in council red tape

Hundreds of millions of pounds intended to help businesses survive the coronavirus crisis is being held back by local councils, the Sunday Telegraph reports, leading to accusations local authorities are hoarding the cash while small businesses impacted by local Covid restrictions go under. Rishi Sunak told businesses in November that £2.2bn in grants would be distributed by local authorities to companies which had been forced to shut. But business operators say some local authorities are yet to open the application process and if they have, they are yet to receive the bulk of the money they are eligible for. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said it was “paramount” that local authorities distribute funds in a timely manner to ensure that no business is left behind. He added: “We absolutely cannot see a repeat of some local authorities who last year dragged thei r feet when it came to the distribution of these critical funds.”

Read more: The Sunday Telegraph

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