Nearly £3 million has been awarded by Orkney Islands Council in Government grants to businesses to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 381 applications has been received by the OIC finance team since the scheme opened on March 24 - 311 small business grants; 41 retail grants and 29 which are still to be classified.
Of those, 242 have been awarded – 216 small business grants and 26 retail grants – and 127 applications await a decision. Twelve (eight small business grants and four retail grant) applications have been rejected.
The total small business grants awarded amounts to £2,160,000 to date, while the retail grant award is £650,000.
170 grant payments have been made to date – 148 small business grants and 22 retail grants – amounting to £1,480,000 and £550,000 respectively – and a total of £2,030,000.
There are still 72 grant payments to be made at this time – 68 small business grants (£680,000) and four retail grants (£100,000) – a total of £780,000. This remainder will be paid into accounts this week.
In all, £2,810,000 has been awarded in grants.
OIC revenues manager, William Moore, said the majority of applications are being processed within three working days of receipt.
“The finance team have been working tirelessly to ensure the applications are processed and the money in business bank accounts as quickly as possible during these unprecedented times.”
The Small Business Grant Fund is a one-off £10,000 grant available for the ratepayers of properties who get one of the reliefs listed below and operate a business in a specified usage category,
• In receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS);
• in receipt of Rural Relief, or
• eligible for SBBS but in receipt of Nursery Relief, Disability Relief, Fresh Start Relief or Business Growth Accelerator Relief.
The Retail, Hospitality, Leisure Support Grant is a £25,000 grant available for ratepayers of properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000.
The council is administering the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.
The Council is also advising businesses against using third-party companies, who are charging to apply for grants on a business’s behalf, as grants can be easily applied for using the simple online claim form through the Council website.
If you have not already applied for the grant, then you can submit your grant application on the council’s website https://www.orkney.gov.uk/Council/C/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-businesses.htm. You should include your current phone number and e-mail address so that the Council can contact you for more information about your application.
Support for the self-employed is available on the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme