£8m in grants issued to local businesses


Folkestone & Hythe District Council has already paid out over £8 million in government grants to local businesses hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

More than 1,000 requests for these grants have been received to date and the council’s business rates team have been processing them quickly to get the money distributed into the local economy – often getting through 250 applications in a single day.

To help their cash flow even more businesses are also getting the money transferred to them the very same day their grant is processed.

The fast turnaround is in addition to a package of support that the council has funded and put in place for the district’s business community.

This includes a personalised business support programme for independent retail and hospitality businesses and the setting up of a dedicated business support helpline with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.

Councillor David Monk, Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council said: “The warning nationally was that businesses wouldn’t be able to access money until the end of April.

“The fact that £8 million of this support has already got to where it’s needed locally is incredible and I’d like to thank council staff for working hard to make this happen.

“Many businesses have suffered financially as a result of the COVID-19 situation so we’ve been inundated with applications. The team are assessing each application in order so please be patient as we work through these.”

Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) as of the 11 March will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will be eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000 per property.