Millions of pounds worth of grants for Liverpool businesses have gone unclaimed, with the council warning there is only a limited time before the money is sent back to the government.
The government's COVID-19 business support schemes close for applications on August 28 and Liverpool Council is warning that, while more than 8,000 businesses have received grants, it believes there are more than 900 eligible businesses in the city that have not applied.
The grants have varying criteria but can provide businesses with either £10,000 or £25,000.
Even if all the businesses who haven't claimed were only eligible for the lower figure it would still mean more than £9m is available.
Deputy Mayor and Mayoral lead for business, councillor Gary Millar, said the money has no conditions attached and implored businesses to apply.
He said: “Liverpool really wants every single business that is eligible to apply for this funding. It will help give them a better chance of survival through the pandemic – and that also means keeping more businesses and jobs going.
“We know that the over £105 million we have already distributed has been an absolute lifeline to many thousands of firms and it is vital that every company that can apply, should apply, before time runs out.
Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here.
“This is money for Liverpool firms that does not have to be paid back by those companies, and has no conditions attached as long as they meet the criteria.
“But if the money is not claimed we are not allowed to spend it on anything else and will be forced to return what’s remaining to the national government. So, if we want this money to stay in Liverpool to benefit our local economy it is crucial that we all help spread the word in the coming days.
Want to keep up with everything going on in your area? Enter your postcode below.
What are the grants available?
A one-off £10,000 cash grant is available to businesses active as of 11 March and registered for business rates in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR) with a rateable value of up to £15,000.
A one-off, cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000 is also available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses active as of 11th March, registered for business rates with a rateable value below £51,000.
Qualifying businesses for this specific grant include:
· cafes, restaurants, takeaways and drinking establishments
· cinemas, music venues and nightclubs
· petrol stations
· gyms, leisure and sports facilities
· estate agents and letting agents
· betting shops and bingo halls
· car showrooms
· hotels and guest houses
The claims process can be found at www.liverpool.gov.uk/covidbusiness
The council has also given out a further £5 million in discretionary grants to organisations who do not meet the criteria for the government schemes.