WCC loan and grant payments to businesses pass £2.28million in last year
"The pandemic has been such a challenging time for many businesses and, at every point, we have tried to ensure that our support is tailored to what they need."
Warwickshire County Council's support for businesses during and post-Covid goes from strength to strength with the total loan and grant payments made by the council in the last year now past £2.28million.
The money has been directed to businesses at a time when they most need it through a range of access to finance programmes: Adapt & Diversify, Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coventry and Warwickshire Duplex Fund, Retail and Hospitality, Small Capital Grants and the Survive, Sustain and Grow programme.
The Council's Business & Economy team has engaged with over 850 businesses on these programmes in the last two years, and the Council has funded loans and grants in excess of £5 million leading to the protection or creation of well over 1,500 jobs.
The Adapt & Diversity grants scheme proved phenomenally popular with both rounds fully subscribed within a day of opening for applications. It awarded a total of £1.5 million to 118 business.
That scheme, like the Retail & Hospitality grants and the Survive, Sustain and Grow programme, were created in response to the pandemic. They were part of the County Council's economic recovery response as the council sought to swiftly adapt its support to the evolving needs of the small business community .
The Duplex Fund, which is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, and the Small Capital Grants predate Covid but have continued to be available to businesses during the pandemic.
At a time of unprecedented challenge, businesses throughout the county have benefited as a result of these County Council schemes which have required much administration to process, sometimes to very tight deadlines.
Warwickshire County Council's Lead Commissioner (Business & Economy) Matthew Epps paid tribute to his team which has burned a lot of midnight oil to ensure that support reached businesses as quickly as possible.
"The pandemic has been such a challenging time for many businesses and, at every point, we have tried to ensure that our support is tailored to what they need," he said. "All along, we have also been very aware that, in many cases, time was of the essence and that business needed to access finance, whether loans or grants, as quickly as possible.
"That is where, more than ever, my team has risen to the occasion. They worked ridiculously long hours over a sustained period to assess applications and make sure claims were processed and the support was received. They have truly played their part in supporting and stabilising many businesses and jobs through Warwickshire and I am really proud of them. I am equally proud of the rest of the team who had to pick up other work because of the focus on these programmes."
Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Kam Kaur, said: "I am delighted that we have now paid more than £2.28 million in grants and loans to businesses during the last year as part of a £5 million investment by the Council in access to finance over the last two years.
"Throughout every phase of the pandemic we have sought to keep our support as relevant and quickly accessible as possible and I am very proud of our award-winning Business & Economy and wider Economy & Skills team for the way they have so often gone the extra mile to get support out to where it is needed as quickly as possible."