Team of 100 tasked with supporting small business grants

Close to 5,000 local businesses have applied for a coronavirus business support grant since the scheme opened at the end of March.

To help us meet this high demand, we've pooled resources from across the Council to create a dedicated team of 100 officers, who are currently processing hundreds of detailed applications every working day.

Almost half of these applications have been assessed, and Government grants totalling £20m have already been processed and paid to business owners. Each grant is designed to protect local jobs and help premises stay in business during lockdown measures.

Organisations which have applied for support but are yet to hear back from us will be updated as soon as possible and we aim to have all current applications assessed by the end of the month.

Adam McVey, Council Leader, said: "We know how crucial these grants are, particularly to Edinburgh’s small businesses, and that’s reflected in the thousands of business owners who have already applied for support.

"We are working hard to help our communities and our businesses through this crisis. A 100-strong team is working round the clock on a high number of detailed requests, in many cases providing ongoing correspondence to make sure that support is provided as quickly as possible.

"We're making good progress, particularly considering the high volume of enquiries we’re getting in, but I appreciate this is an extremely difficult time for businesses. I want to thank each and every one for their patience and reassure those who are still waiting that they should receive confirmation this week or by the end of this month in a tiny number of cases where further information is required."

Cammy Day, Depute Council Leader, added: "We have staff working tirelessly through thousands of applications, making sure those who are entitled to business support receive the help they need. They've been working really hard including over weekends to pay out around £20m in grants so far. We hope and expect many more businesses to follow suit and apply for help, and I want to thank everyone for bearing with us. We understand what a challenging time this is for our city’s small businesses and we’re doing all that we can to make this process quicker."

Work will continue in the coming days to finalise more than 75% of grant applications by the end of the week, with the remainder to be worked through by the end of the month. Businesses which are yet to receive an update are asked to wait as we will be in touch in the coming weeks, and anyone who is yet to seek support is encouraged to apply online.

Published: April 20th 2020