Council Leader Julian German has written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to once again ask the Government to help more businesses in Cornwall badly affected by coronavirus restrictions.
The Council, backed by business leaders across Cornwall, has consistently called on the Government to increase funding for the discretionary business support scheme, with over 3,000 Cornish businesses still unable to access any other form of Government coronavirus grant support.
German said: “I’ve written to the Prime Minister to ask him to cut through the red tape and allow Cornwall Council to use the ring-fenced £31 million which was allocated to Cornwall for the original Small Businesses Grant scheme, but which has not been claimed.
“The money is just sitting there when we have 3,000 businesses who do not meet the criteria for a Small Business Grant but are in desperate need of support. We want to use that £31 million to give them a lifeline through the local authority discretionary business support scheme which could make the difference between survival and going to the wall.
“We recognise that the government’s funding packages have provided a lifeline to many businesses, but there is more to do, and we want to be allowed to use that money from the original scheme to make the difference.”
Councillor German sets out a stark picture in his letter to the Prime Minister, adding: “The visitor economy in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Devon, Somerset and Dorset – the largest single visitor region outside of London in the UK – is facing a decline in business turnover of 56%, at an estimated loss of £2.2 billion.
“Only 30% of businesses anticipate that they will survive beyond summer 2021. We are grateful for the support to date, but there are many more businesses in Cornwall who need help if the survival rate is to increase.”
The direct appeal to the Prime Minister follows an earlier letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.