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More Crawley jobs at risk as BrightHouse close to collapse

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The largest rent-to-own retailer which has a store in Queens Sq, Crawley is likely to fall into administration on Monday.

The firm is the largest operator of its kind in the sector and provides loans to its customers so they can purchase electrical items. It reportedly has 200,000 customers and as many as 2,400 staff could be affected across the country.

Customers make monthly payments for these electrical items, renting them until they are fully paid for.

If the firm does go into administration then any customers who have already issued complaints over mis-selling could find that they only end up receiving just a fraction of the amount they hoped for.

The firm closed the stores for health and safety reasons around COVID-19 several days ago.

But customers of Brighthouse are also being warned that they even if the company does go into administration they still need to keep up their monthly payments and in the light of the coronavirus, with many of the cutsomers falling into the low income bracket, many are being encuoraged to ask for payment breaks.

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Crawley Council pays out £11.7m in grants to businesses affected by coronavirus

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Crawley Borough Council has paid a total of £11.7m in grants to more than 800 businesses affected by coronavirus – and is launching its Discretionary Business Grants for eligible small and micro businesses on Monday.

The £11.7m given out equates to 97 per cent of the funding received from the Government – one of the highest rates in the country. This was made up of Small Business Grants of £10,000 and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants of £10,000 or £25,000.

The council has now received a much smaller funding allocation from the Government of £612,750 for Discretionary Business Grants, which are aimed at eligible small and micro-businesses in Crawley.

These businesses can start applying to the council for a grant from Monday (1 June) until Sunday 14 June. This will provide further grant funding for a limited number of additional micro and small businesses. A micro or small business has fewer than 50 employees.

The Government’s intention is that the Discretionary Business Grants benefit small and micro businesses who have not benefited to date from other government business support programmes set up in response to the coronavirus crisis. These include the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant schemes and businesses in receipt of one of these grants are therefore not eligible to apply.

In view of the very limited amount of funding, the council particularly welcomes and will seek to prioritise applications from small / micro businesses that applied to the above schemes but were unsuccessful. In addition, the council welcomes applications from small / micro businesses faced with high property costs and the risk of significant income, jobs and business losses as a result of the crisis.

It is likely that there will be great demand for these grants and that the scheme will be heavily oversubscribed. Only a small minority of business applicants are likely to be successful in securing grant funding from this particular scheme. For those applicants that are successful the council will ensure that grant payments are made as quickly as possible, subject to due diligence checks.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“The council officers have done a tremendous job ensuring that the Government grants to Crawley businesses have been distributed as quickly as possible as we do our best to support businesses and residents through these very difficult economic times.”

Further information on the Discretionary Grants Fund and an application form can be found on the council’s website from Monday at https://bit.ly/cbcdiscretionarygrant

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