Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to cut through red tape which is preventing East Yorkshire businesses from benefiting from a vital corona virus cash lifeline.
Hundreds of businesses in the region are missing out on £10,000 Government grants because they are based in local authority business centres where individual offices and workshops don’t have a rateable value.
In order to qualify for the scheme the Government has said businesses should be based in premises which receive small business rates relief or rural rate relief.
But East Riding of Yorkshire Council, which is administering the grant allocation in the county, say as their business centres are rated as a whole the grant is not applicable to its tenants or indeed to businesses in serviced accommodation.
Now businessman Steve Verrill whose company Verrill Public Relations Ltd has been based at ERYC’s Market Weighton Business Centre for 14 years has written to the Chancellor urging him to change the allocation rules so that more businesses can get the urgent support they need.
“While I applaud the Chancellor for the actions he is taking to protect businesses and people’s jobs, I can’t believe it was his intention to deprive so many small businesses of this vital lifeline,” said Mr Verrill.
“Using rateable values seems an unjust way of deciding which businesses should be helped when most businesses are facing the same difficulties and the same threat to their survival.
“VPR has been running for 20 years and during that time we have created jobs, supported businesses in East and North Yorkshire and delivered services which have helped businesses across the UK to be more successful.
“We weathered the financial storm in 2008 but this situation is far more serious and there must be many businesses like ours that need this vital Government aid but are being deprived of it simply because they are based in a business centre.
“The Government say we are all in this together but that has a hollow ring to many small businesses who feel isolated by the way this allocation has been organised.
“I would urge all small business owners who are affected to write to the Chancellor and their MP to point out this injustice and to press for a change in this system so that all those in need can benefit.”
The Chancellor can be contacted at CEU.firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Verrill can be contacted on 07725 196753. www.verrillpr.co.uk