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More than 1,100 firms apply to return to work

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MORE than 1,100 businesses have told the States they want to get back to work tomorrow.

States chief executive Paul Whitfield. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28140775)

And those that do could still qualify for financial help, States chief executive Paul Whitfield has said.

Businesses such as gardeners, builders, mechanics and estate agents are opening as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Paul Whitfield

‘While the majority of applications fit within the public health criteria, some do fall outside,’ he said.

Businesses that comply with the requirements will not be contacted, while any that should not be operating under the relaxed guidelines or need to provide additional information should have been called.

Officers from Environmental Health will visit sites routinely to check on compliance and will also investigate any complaints.

Mr Whitfield added that failing to adhere to the rules could lead to reconsideration or a tightening of the guidelines.

‘We anticipate that even when some business activity is possible under restrictions, many businesses operating will not be able to return to near normal levels of trading under phase two restrictions,’ he said.

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‘It’s expected that the majority of businesses will continue to need and receive the maximum level of support.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, therefore, businesses currently claiming payroll co-funding support who are able to return to some level of activity but are still experiencing a significant impact on their turnover will still be able to claim support.’

Payroll co-funding can still be claimed for all members of staff including sole traders and business owners. However, in time the value of support provided may be adjusted to reflect the increased level of activity in the business.

Small businesses that have been awarded a grant will be able to retain that payment and those businesses currently awaiting payment of a grant, or eligible for support, will receive it.

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Since the call centre for business support went live, nearly 1,800 calls have come through to the team and Mr Whitfield asked people to be patient.

‘Our target is to get through the backlog by the end of next week,’ he said.

‘If you can’t get through then please have patience, we are dealing with an unprecedented number of calls and staff will get to you as soon as possible.’

More than 3,000 applications for business support have been received and more than 1,700 payments have been processed to a value of around £5.2m.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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