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A North East council has reported that it has provided £17m of support to businesses struggling with the effects of the coronavirus.
South Tyneside Council has paid out £17m after setting up a dedicated hub to help local firms unlock government grants and other financial aid.
It has said that it has contacted all eligible businesses in the area and has already made payments of one-off grants to 1,480 businesses which made applications online.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, commented: “The business community is facing profound challenges currently and we have been doing all we can to support our local firms.
“We know that swift action is vital to support cash flow and protect jobs and we’ve been focusing on making sure help gets to those who need it, as quickly as possible.
“The team at the hub has been providing businesses with the advice and targeted support they need and are entitled to, to protect their livelihoods.
“They’ve been working hand-in-hand to help them access any financial assistance which will allow them to continue to operate through this crisis and beyond.”
Business rates for this financial year have been waived for those in receipt of small business rate relief and all businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.
Iain added: “Our businesses, large and small are the backbone of our economy and vital to the prosperity of the borough and we are doing all we can to help them through these extremely challenging times.”
Access free online guidance for North East businesses in the Growth Hub North East's COVID-19 toolkit →
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