The Hackney Liberal Democrats have called for clarity on why Hackney Council are behind other London Boroughs in paying out vital Covid business grants to those in need of a lifeline.
The grant packages pay £10,000 for businesses whose premises have a rateable value of less than £15,000 or get small business rate relief. For those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of £15,000 to £25,000, they can claim £25,000.
A recent Evening Standard article covered figures released by the Federation of Small Business’s London arm showing the huge disparity in the percentage of available funds to councils in London that have actually been lent out.
The figures show that Hackney had so far only paid out 60%, meaning many businesses that are eligible for the grant have yet to receive these vital funds in the borough.
The FSB chairman Mike Cherry noted that for many small businesses, these grants are lifelines during these trying times and that it was essential to get this money out before it is too late for many.
The Hackney Liberal Democrats Vice Chair Darren Martin said:
"I have written to the Cabinet Member responsible and Mayor Glanville to ask for clarity on why we are lagging behind on this and what will be done to ensure we speed up the process and get these vital funds out to businesses.
"9 local authorities have paid out over 70% and Ealing have paid out nearly 95%, so it is possible. We sit behind 17 other London Boroughs so we obviously need to drastically pick up the pace.
"It is not an exaggeration to say this money could be the difference between survival and going under for many small businesses, so Hackney Council obviously needs to do better and get this lifeline out to those that need it."