Almost 40% of grants available to small businesses are yet to be paid out by local authorities, according to new data.
According to latest data published by the Government, five weeks after the grants were announced, 38% of the amount allocated to local authorities to pay to eligible businesses has not yet been paid out.
The 62% paid represents £7.6 billion of the £12.33 billion – an increase from the 49% figure of paid out grants announced last week.
Business rates experts at Colliers International have expressed concerned about the lack of urgency many local authorities are showing in paying out much needed grants to businesses, including recipients in the retail and hospitality sector, during the Covid-19 pandemic and about how fairly many these have been allocated.
According to new analysis from the firm, the most efficient place in the country in paying out its allocated grants is the London Borough of Ealing, which has paid out £64 million or 94% of the £68.2 million which it has been allocated to distribute.
One of the worst places is Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council which has paid out less than a quarter of the grant monies allocated – just £17.27 million of a total allocation of £73 million which is 24%.
The Council with the biggest allocation of grants to hand out is Cornwall Council – with £281.45 million to allocate to 23,828 properties (of which it has allocated £194.825 million or 69%)
This implies that there are more small businesses and retailers claiming rates relief in Cornwall than in any other part of the country.
Of the major cities, Birmingham City Council and Manchester City Council have been particularly slow in handing out much needed grants and have distributed only 37% each.