AN ANGRY businesswoman has scolded Slough Borough Council (SBC) for being ‘too slow’ in handing out coronavirus business grants.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Observer that she applied for the one-off business loan April 2 and since then, the council had not responded or acknowledged her application to receive funds for her business to survive the lockdown – until she got Slough MP Tan Dhesi involved a few days ago.

She said that she has been struggling since her business was forced to close in March when all non-essential stores were told to shut, and has said that businesses around her area are still waiting for financial support from the council to remain afloat.

READ MORE: Slough Council hands out small portion of Covid-19 funds

The government announced grant allocations to local authorities to help small businesses who have been hit by the lockdown survive.

Organisations with a rateable value of up to £15,000 can apply for the one-off small business grant fund of £10,000 and the retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund is for businesses in those sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 – they can receive a grant of £25,000.

SBC has now contacted the woman saying they are ‘processing’ her application, but the anonymous woman has criticised the council for being ‘too slow’, adding that she shouldn’t have had to contact the Slough MP just to get a response.

A spokesman for the council said that they have written to businesses eligible for the grant more than two weeks ago, highlighted information needed on their website and encouraged local businesses to complete the online form via the council’s town centre manager and business task force.

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He also said: “This system is wide open to fraud, and, despite the government suggesting we should hand out the money first and worry about fraud later, the government have also made clear that the council is responsible if any mistakes are made and fraud occurs.

“We have a responsibility to all our businesses, and our local residents, to make sure those who receive the money are the ones who are entitled and deserve it and that is what we will continue to do.”

The businesswoman said: “Slough Borough Council have done absolutely nothing and its been like six weeks now.

“I’m really struggling now, and I have staff who I need to pay who are depending on me with money that I don’t have.

“Mr Dhesi has been very helpful once he got involved or else I wouldn’t have gotten a response from them, but I need to know at the end of the day and it’s really bad that I had to involve him just to get a response.

“Other businesses are in the same situation and they need the help that they can get because everybody is in it together and it’s not their fault. Everyone has a family, bills to pay and responsibilities, and we need the help now and not later on.”