More help for flood affected businesses

posted 15 Jan 2016, 05:47 by Rochdale TC

Businesses in the borough of Rochdale that were badly damaged in the recent floods will be able to apply for cash from a new fund announced by councils across Greater Manchester today.

The extra funding comes in addition to the £500 grants that Rochdale Borough Council has given to 95 businesses so far, as well as the business rates relief which most affected businesses have also taken advantage of.

Many residents have also been given council tax relief and more than 400 households were given payments of £500 by the council to help with their recoveries.

Firms can apply for a maximum of £10,000, and will receive tailored support depending on their individual requirements.

Council Leader Richard Farnell and Chief Executive Steve Rumbelow visited one local business today which could benefit from the money.

Better Dreams Ltd, based in College Road, lost around £500,000 worth of stock in the floods. The company, which supplies big names like Argos, The Range and B&M, was also forced to temporarily lay off all 60 of its staff. Only 15 have been able to return to work. A lot of ​their machinery has also been damaged.

Company Director, Alison Baxter, said: "The impact has been devastating. A lot of machinery is out of action and a huge amount of stock has been destroyed. We're just starting to get some stock out now, but we're operating at about 10 per cent of what we were doing before. The council has been a huge support, helping us with the clear up and getting rid of the excess damaged stock. We've also had the £500 grant and business rates relief. Everything helps."

Council Leader Richard Farnell, said: "The Boxing Day flood has had a devastating impact on some businesses, which is really sad to see. The council is committed to doing whatever it can to help these companies, which contribute to our local economy and employ our residents, get back on their feet, and that's why we've announced this new package of support today."

Tony Lloyd, interim mayor of Greater Manchester, said: "The recent flooding in Greater Manchester devastated businesses across the region. This programme offers both financial support and expert advice and I encourage all firms affected to come forward to benefit from it. One of our region's strengths is its resilience and it's fantastic to see the Business Growth Hub working with local authorities to help rebuild and protect people's livelihoods."

The fund, a collaboration between the Greater Manchester authorities and the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub, is for small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered direct damage to premises and equipment as result of flood water entering their premises. Business advice will accompany the grant to help businesses both in the short and longer term.

Grants can be paid against items which have already been purchased (after the date of the flood) and items which the business has not yet purchased. Some of the grant will be paid up front, and each business will need to provide evidence of expenditure to receive the full amount of the grant offered. Grants should be used for items which have not, and will not, be covered by insurance.

Grants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and the council expects the average award to be around £2,000.

The fund has been provided by the Government's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Businesses can find out more about how to apply for the grant by emailing andrew.bradwell@rochdale.gov.uk or ringing 01706 925605.

Click here for more information and updates on flooding
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