Finance experts have joined calls for businesses to apply for local council grants before the emergency cash scheme for high street firms expires this Friday (28 August).
The Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, distributed by local councils to small businesses, has been running since March but £1.5bn is believed to still be unclaimed.
Analysis by the business finance team at comparison website Money.co.uk claims 69,543 small– and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are yet to claim.
The government revealed earlier this month that £10.8bn had been paid out to businesses, hoping to remind those yet to claim to apply as soon as possible.
However, Money.co.uk claims that since then, just 6,889 SMEs have signed up for the grant.
Its research found Cornwall is the county with the most eligible businesses that are yet to claim, with 2,960 SMEs at risk of missing out on grants.
Alongside Cornwall, four other councils along the England’s coastline including Dorset, South Lakeland District, East Suffolk and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Borough Council are among the top 20 local authorities with the highest estimated number of unclaimed businesses.
“With the deadline for grant applications fast approaching, it is imperative that businesses that need support and are yet to claim, assess their financial situation and if needed submit their claim urgently,” Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at Money.co.uk, said.
“While there has been much confusion in the past with regards to eligibility, now is the last opportunity for businesses to find out if they are eligible and how much funding they could apply for.”
The Federation of Small Businesses has also previously called for councils to do more to get grants to eligible firms.