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Business Grants Get Easier

15 January 2021

Four £20 notes

Businesses in need of financial grants within South Hams and West Devon are being encouraged to come forward and apply via a new, much simpler process.

Since 5 November, South Hams District Council has paid out £2,207,430, with West Devon Borough Council paying out £865,182. These grants have supported 2,131 businesses across the South Hams and West Devon.

With at least 11 different Government grant schemes currently available, South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils are more than aware how difficult and confusing applications can be. To help, the Councils have created a much simpler process, which means that application forms will be fast to complete, process and pay.

It also means that customers will be issued payments from any of the other 11 available grants, or future ones that follow the same format, which they are eligible for, with a simplified application process.

The Councils' focus is to pay out as much money as possible, to as many businesses as possible, as quickly as possible, while working within the rules set out, which does include some essential checks to avoid fraud.

To complete online application forms, businesses will now choose one of three categories:

  • You haven't applied for any grants from November 2020 onwards, so you must complete the full application; or
  • You have completed one full application form since November 2020. You now need to complete the supplementary form; or
  • You have completed one full application form and the LRSG (Open) form, which went live in December. In which case you do not need to do anything and we will contact you if we need any further information.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "This new system is more efficient, since businesses will no longer need to understand which grants to apply for. It has been terribly confusing to know which grants to apply for, because there are so many with similar names.

"The great thing about it is it will check all eligible grants on each business' behalf, so they could be in line for a greater grant than the one they initially applied for.

"I would encourage as many businesses as possible to apply for funding because funds are available. We know that businesses need that money in their accounts quickly and I can assure them, it is on its way. In future, payments will now be much quicker since the new system is in place."

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "We have listened to businesses about the complexity of these grants. We have now developed a great process, which will be invaluable to our customers who can more easily and quickly access all of the money they are eligible for in future.

"By working out this system, which removes the risk of grant errors, and automatically checks applications to decide eligibility for each grant, we will save a huge amount of time and will ensure that more businesses will benefit under the right schemes. For example, a business may think they are only applying for one grant of £1,000 but could in fact, be in line to receive up to £10,000 from multiple grants.

"If you have not yet applied for a business grant, please go to the Council's website because there are still funds coming through from Government."

Like all other councils around the country, there are no warnings of new grants, meaning no time in advance to prepare processes and systems. The Councils need to be exceptionally careful that public money goes to those who need it and not into the hands of those trying to defraud the system.

Council officers have committed to working seven days a week to support eligible local businesses to gain their grants, so funding should be arriving into accounts very soon.

For more information, and to apply for a grant, go to: 

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