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Local businesses handed £37.6m in Covid grants

Created on 24/07/2020 @ 07:10
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The cost of trying to keep local businesses afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic has been revealed by Powys County Council.

An incredible £37.6 million has been handed to 3,487 businesses in the county with a further 1,260 businesses receiving £10.5 million in business rates relief.

The council revealed the staggering figures in its quarterly report, adding that members of staff have made over 20,000 welfare to shielded and vulnerable residents.

The full report will be revealed to cabinet next week and does not review the council’s performance against normal management indicators, but concentrates on the business continuity plan invoked in response to the pandemic.

Council Leader, Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: “Normally, our quarterly performance examines key achievements, issues and actions against the objectives in Vision 2025. However, quarter one of this year has been far from normal, with Covid-19 impacting on all our lives. 

“We have concentrated our work on business-critical activities since we invoked the Business Continuity Plan in March in response to Coronavirus.

“The plan had three key priorities: Responding to COVID-19; Keeping our communities safe and resilient; and Running the Council. Although this work will continue for some time, preparations are now underway to manage the phased opening of the county and to plan ahead for the long-term challenges following the pandemic.

The report will show:

·      Over 20,000 welfare calls have been made to shielded and vulnerable residents

·      PCC worked with key partners to provide emergency childcare hubs in each of the 13 school clusters. 321 pupils accessed the hubs and 163 staff members provided cover. By the start of May, 881 internet-connected devices had been distributed to help families with home schooling. PCC supported schools to re-open on June 29 for ‘Check In, Catch Up and Prepare’ sessions.

·      PCC administrated business grants to 3,487 businesses, which amounts £37,601,960 of grant funding.

·      Business rates relief given to eligible businesses in Retail, Leisure and Hospitality. This is a total of £10.5m in relief with 1,260 Powys businesses getting a nil bill for 2020/21.

·      The open access youth team have created virtual youth groups across the county and have had 766 meaningful contacts during the lockdown period.

·      The Centralised Homelessness Co-ordination Cell as set-up. 35 homeless households were re-housed, 72 new properties were identified as temporary accommodation.

·      From June 1, 2020 the Test, Trace, Protect system went live. As at June 30, there have been 29 positive cases identified for Contact Tracing, all of which have been successfully traced.

·      The #SupportLocalPowys social media campaign was launched to help support the local economy over the coming months.

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