£3m in ‘lifeline’ funding paid to local firms

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Last Updated: 07 Apr 2020 1:16pm

Businesses across Tonbridge and Malling will today receive the first wave of emergency funding for firms hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is delivering the cash injection, totalling just over £3 million, to more than 200 companies through grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 depending on the rateable value of the business. The government has so far provided a total of £18 million to support Tonbridge and Malling’s commercial sector through the crisis.

The council estimates the borough has more than 1,500 firms, including around 360 retail outlets, eligible for grants which can be applied for online. Further tranches of payments will be made on a weekly basis as more eligible companies apply. Eligible companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have also been given a 12 month business rates holiday.

Details of these and other measures, including bank loans and a Kent business hotline (03333 602300), are available on dedicated pages of the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council website. Businesses wishing to apply for a grant should in the first instance email inspectors@tmbc.gov.uk to check eligibility.

Support is also available for households who may be struggling to pay their council tax during the lockdown period. This includes discounts of up to £150 for working age households eligible for council tax reductions and the option to defer or reduce payments in certain circumstances. The government has provided £867,000 to meet this cost.

Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Council, said: “These measures are a lifeline for businesses and households in our borough which have been hardest hit by the unprecedented measures that have been imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus. If more money is required to stop firms going out of business and people losing their jobs, I won’t hesitate to demand more from the government. In the meantime, I would urge anyone who needs help to get in touch and we will do everything we can to assist them through this incredibly challenging period.”