Councils across south east London have been provided with Government grants to support hospitality businesses after a drop in profits during Omicron.
Research of official Government data by the real estate adviser Altus Group has shown that overall, in England, businesses had received less than half of the £ 635m support package promised by the Government by the end of February.
Local authorities were to deliver the one-off grants, worth up to £ 6,000, to businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector.
The data below is for all pay-outs at the end of February which was less than three weeks before the final cut off for applications on March 18.
Councils had to pay the final grants on or before March 31 – or they face not being reimbursed by The Treasury if grants were paid out after this point.
The figures for south east London are:
Total allocation of money from the Government: £ 1,110,051.00
Total that the council paid out: £ 938,047.00
Per cent of allocated grant used: 84.50 per cent
Total allocation of money from the Government: £ 1,356,039.00
Total that the council paid out: £ 1,265,375.00
Per cent of allocated grant used: 93.31 per cent
Total allocation of money from the Government: £ 1,206,063.00
Total that the council paid out: £ 504,024.00
Per cent of allocated grant used: 41.79 per cent
Although Bexley council had paid out the least amount of grants at the end of February, the News Shopper was provided with more up to date figures from the council.
A spokesperson for Bexley council said: “We delivered £ 1,053m of Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant – 87.34 per cent of our allocation – to over 300 businesses before the cut-off date.
“All were paid by 31 March.
“This has been a huge lifeline to many businesses affected by further restrictions and disruptions, and this was on top of the more than £ 100m of grants, rate reliefs and support delivered over the pandemic.
“Wider business support continues within our high streets and shopping parades to revitalize and drive up footfall.”
Total allocation of money from the Government: £ 1,764,054.00
Total that the council paid out: £ 1,382,048.00
Per cent of allocated grant used: 78.34 per cent
- London Borough of Southwark –
Total allocation of money from the Government: £ 3,366,072.00
Total that the council paid out: £ 2,600,060.00
Per cent of allocated grant used: 77.24 per cent
Southwark council also provided us with their final figures, making the total paid at the end of March £ 3,092,740.
This meant that Southwalks council used 91.88 per cent of the allocated grant.
29 councils in England had not distributed a single of the allocated grants to struggling firms, according to the new figures.
However, seven councils in England overspent and paid out more in grants than they received from the government in the first place.
The London Borough of Barnet spent the most and paid out just under £ 2.5 million by late February which is almost 40 per cent more than it was allocated.
Robert Hayton, UK president of Altus Group, described the grant scheme as a “postcode lottery”.
He said: “These types of businesses saw one of their most valuable trading periods wiped out and simply did not get the support they needed quickly enough.
“I just hope councils rallied at the end.”
The News Shopper approached Lewisham, Greenwich and Bromley Councils for the opportunity to comment.
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