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Crawley Council Leader launches campaign to support #CrawleyOnline businesses

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Cllr Peter Lamb, Labour Leader of Crawley Borough Council, has launched a campaign encouraging online shoppers to support local small businesses that have moved online during the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking about the campaign, Cllr Lamb said:

“Over recent weeks, we have heard that Crawley’s economy has been hit harder than any other in the country. Yet, even now, we can see green shoots of growth, with more Crawley businesses going online than ever before.

While we can’t support local companies with our physical footfall right now, we can offer then digital footfall to support them through this difficult time. I would encourage every resident to do their bit to help sustain local businesses online, until they can find their feet again.”

“If you know a Crawley business that is still trading online and you want to help support our town, then please do let people know about them by using the #CrawleyOnline hashtag.”

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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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