OVER £8.7m in business aid has now been paid out in Richmondshire – but authorities believe up to 900 firms across the district could still be missing out on special grants covering the coronavirus pandemic.

The district council is calling on businesses to make sure the information held on line about them is up to date to ensure that any applications for coronavirus grants can be dealt with quickly.

The authority says it has already had 11,000 applications for assistance but they are aware there are many more small businesses particularly which are eligible.

Chief executive Tony Clark said: “So far 709 of the applications have been processed with £8.7 million paid out in aid.

“We are turning them around as fast as we can and they will be all the quicker if we have all the necessary information on businesses in our system, so we urge people to get that up to date. It will also help us to make sure everyone eligible for this money receives it.”

Bank details in particular are needed to pay out grants either through small business rate relief, rural rate relief or the retail, hospital and leisure grant scheme.

He said based on changes to eligibility criteria there are now 1,992 eligible businesses in Richmondshire, 192 more than in the first set of guidelines. This is because the government expanded discounts to include bingo halls, estate agents and letting agencies. Charities may also be eligible under these expanded discounts.

Go to https://selfservice.richmondshire.gov.uk/renderform.aspx?t=1246&k=1BC08789164713643361948DB6A5648452DF198D