A GOVERNMENT table has revealed Slough Borough Council (SBC) is among one of the worst council’s in England when it comes to handing out the coronavirus business grant.

The report, which was published on the government’s website, has compiled data showing how much each local authority was given, how much they spent, how many business are eligible in the areas and how many businesses have received the grant.

Slough is the fourth worst performing – with Birmingham City Council taking the top spot, followed by Luton Borough Council.

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SBC has received nearly £18 million from government where, so far, the council has only given £2,235,000 to 135 out of 1,254 businesses that are deemed eligible according to the official table.

Businesses can apply for two loans:

  • The small business grant- the one-off loan is for those with a rateable value of up to £15,000. They can apply for a grant of £10,000
  • The retail, hospitality, and leisure grant fund- businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 can receive a grant of £25,000.

The council said they are ensuring the funds are going to those who are entitled and deserve it as the system is open to fraud which the government has made clear that councils are responsible for if any fraud or mistakes take place.

They also added that business who are eligible for the grant have been contacted more than two weeks ago asking them to provide their details via an online form.

The non-profit Federation for Small Businesses, an organisation which campaigns for small businesses and self-employed, has called on local authorities to act now to secure business futures.

They said any delay is ‘inexcusable’.

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A spokesman for the council said: “Whilst it’s never welcome to have central government publishing new local authority ‘league tables’ relating to the distribution of complex central government grant payments, we do welcome any publicity that encourages Slough’s retail, hospitality and leisure sector to contact us to obtain this new grant.

“We calculate that approximately 1,200 businesses in Slough are entitled to this new (one-off) government funding. Unfortunately, more than 500 of these local businesses have still not applied for the funding they are entitled to; and a significant number of those that have applied have not supplied the very basic information we require to make the payments.”

The council is encouraging eligible businesses to contact them on 01753 475111 with basic information or visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/business/.