LOCAL businesses have been told to persevere after some were not included in a £20 million handout from Bradford Council as part of the Government’s Small Business Grant Scheme.

The one-off grants of £10,000 are aimed at helping eligible small businesses to meet on-going costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council said they had been working hard to identify those who are eligible for the grants and are due to make more payments soon.

Some business owners and traders say they have neither received the grant or are still having problems registering to get it but a Council spokesperson said there were several schemes up and running and businesspeople should get in touch to talk through their options.

She said some confusion may have arisen because an HMRC scheme for the self-employed will not pay out until June.

Dean Lorimer, who runs Trinity Medical Services, of Wallis Street, Bradford, which provides medical cover to events and for special circumstances like film sets, says if he does not get the grant to tide him over he would have to close his business which employs 43 people.

He said: “I haven’t had any letter yet from the Council despite them stating they had sent letters. I have emailed the Council again today hoping they can shed some light on this situation.

“Without the grant I would have to close my business losing around 43 jobs.”

Mr Lorimer, a builder by trade who joined St John Ambulance when his dad had a heart attack, said he started his business when he was made redundant two years ago and had built it up from a one-man operation.

He said friends had been told they would get the money shortly and that the Council had updated its website asking people to supply their bank details but on Thursday he found he still could not get anywhere.

He added: “Just come off the phone, after speaking with a member of staff who doesn’t work for the business rates team. She was trying her best but stated that she had seen the article last night and staff were unaware this was sent out.

“She stated to bear with us as it may take a few weeks even up to a month to sort. She asked if I had sent my bank details and that if I hadn’t heard something by this time next week to call back.

“When you ring it states they are still waiting on details from central government.”

Robert Thompson, of RJT Group 56, a business management consultancy based in Drighlington, said: “We do accounts for many pubs, some in the Bradford area.

“We have provided details to the council but no one has received the money yet. I hope it lands in the banks for them as they are in desperation

“The council saying they have already paid out 20 million does not ring true.

“As of this morning the businesses we are dealing with have had no money in the bank.

“As a small business ourselves we have a Bradford postcode but come under Leeds. We also have not had anything, likewise with clients in Kirklees. I have been told of a pub in Durham that has been paid out.”

The spokesperson for Bradford Council said that if businesses had not received a letter they should get in touch.

She said: "Contact us and we'll talk it through with you."

Traders are advised to consult the Government website at https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/ to see what support they are eligible for.

The Council contact number is 01274 437744 or email business.rates@bradford.gov.uk.