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Coronavirus hits Crawley recruiters

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As businesses tighten up their strategies for coping with the spread of the virus recruitment companies in Crawley are now beginning to feel the weight of the problem.

Two Crawley recruitment firms have reported that clients are asking to postpone interviews as their own companies make decisions for their staff to work from home.

Read more: View the LIVE Coronavirus tracking map here

One firm reported that even after offering skype or online interviews as a replacement the response was less than favourable.

Both firms have asked to remain anonymous at this time but speaking to CN24 one director said:

“It is understandable that these clients are beginning to implement safeguards to protect their staff but it is having a negative impact with our business. Without interviewees being allowed to meet with potential new employers it is inevitably going to cause a blockage in the whole process.”

Read more: Why local online news is so important for business during the Coronavirus outbreak

Tourism in the county has already been reportedly affected with business reporting lower trading and footfall as people make the decision to not travel as much and even Gatwick tweeted in repsonse to the cancelled flights to and from Italy.

With major announcements in todays Budget it is clear the whole country is bracing itself for the continued spread of the coronavirus but here in Crawley, with one of the largest business communities in Europe there are a lot of concerned business owners still unsure of what the future holds.

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‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

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Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

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