A fresh round of discretionary business grant funding worth almost £700,000 has been launched by Shropshire Council in a bid to support the local economy.

The £667,500 pot will provide grants of £2,500 to 267 businesses across the county who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes as the council is urging businesses who have not yet applied for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant to get their applications in as soon as possible.

A lower than expected number of firms have applied, leading to fears that businesses are not aware a fresh bid must be made.

The new discretionary scheme will support those in the hospitality trade but are not the rate payer; event caterers who can show they have lost business across the winter period; and travel agents and tour operators.

Those who think they may be eligible can read the criteria and apply here.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:-

“We are pleased to be able to support a range of businesses through this grant funding, but are totally aware that there will be a lot of disappointed businesses who again will be missing out.

“We are doing all we can to support the business community, especially in areas which are hardest hit.

“But we have only been given a relatively small pot by the Government to support this, and have tried to write criteria which will help those worst hit.”

Ed Potter said he was delighted the council had managed to pay out £1.81 million to 571 businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector – but added the figure was lower than he expected:-

“We know that there are many more businesses out there eligible for this pot – and we are urging them to get in touch as soon as possible

“The team here have done a magnificent job in getting more than £1,500,000 out of the door to support almost 500 firms.

“But there are many more who meet the criteria but have not applied. This could be because they expect the payment to processed automatically. Sadly, this is not the case, you must lodge a fresh application, and I would urge you all to do so.”

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