Over £8.5 million in funds has so far been paid to more than 800 businesses in Tameside to provide support during the outbreak of coronavirus.
Business grants are being paid by Tameside Council to firms across the borough affected by the pandemic.
There are two types of grant funding available which the council's business rates team are distributing locally. Small Business Grant Funding of £10,000 is for all firms in receipt of business rate relief or rural rate relief. Grant funding of £25,000 is available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which have property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Businesses that are eligible to receive one of the grants will automatically be contacted by the council and will be asked to provide details that have been requested by central government for the grant to be paid.
Additional support for firms includes an automatically-applied 12 month business rates relief for all retails, leisure, hospitality and nursery businesses; a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs); and deferring VAT and self-assessment payments.
4,739 Tameside businesses have received a 100% relief and will not have to pay business rates this year. This totals £34.9m support for local businesses.
Cllr Oliver Ryan, Tameside Council Executive Member for Finance and Economic Growth, said: "We are doing all we can to get this money to businesses as soon as possible and our teams are working around the clock to get this processed. We received Tameside's share of this national scheme on April 1st, to help support our local businesses and we will be distributing all of this money in grants to eligible businesses by the end of April.
"We're applying the necessary due diligence to each grant application as we have unfortunately received a large number of fraudulent claims and we want to ensure that the right people are receiving the money they need. Not only because fraudulently attempting to claim this money is immoral and illegal, but because this takes up capacity that could be used processing genuine claims of businesses in need.
"We know this is a very difficult time for many of our local businesses, and we want you to know that we are here to support you. With over £8.5 million paid out to more than 800 businesses so far and more grants in the pipeline, I hope this goes some way to supporting them through the current crisis. I'm proud of the hard work the team is doing to process these payments to local firms as quickly as possible and would encourage any business that thinks they may be eligible, but hasn't heard from us, to please make contact with our dedicated team who will be more than happy to help."