358 businesses across Gosport receive share of £4.6m in 'saviour' grants
HUNDREDS of businesses have received a share of £4.6m in a government grant.
Gosport Borough Council has paid out to 358 businesses in a bid to help them through the coronavirus crisis.
The grants, which have been made available under a national government scheme, are distributed by the council to small businesses and firms in the retail and leisure sectors.
It has spent extra money to make sure payments get to businesses on the day they are made, and not the usual three to five working days.
Sarah Veal, who runs The Bookshop in Lee-on-the-Solent, received a £10,000 grant on Friday.
She said: ‘It’s going to be our saviour and it means that we can use it to pay our rent. I didn’t think it would be that quick.
‘Book shops are closing up and down the country because of this and we are 87 years old, it would be a crying shame if we were to close.
‘It has been a godsend and it will mean that it will keep us going until this is over.
‘It is a positive thing for the whole high street.’
Paul Cochrane, who owns XW Rigging in Haslar Marina, Gosport also received the £10,000 grant, which he says will last his business 10 to 12 weeks.
He said: ‘£10,000 for small businesses is going to help us pay the bills and running costs that still have to be paid.
‘I’m very happy that they have done it but it will run out eventually.’
Council leader, Councillor Mark Hook said: ‘I used to run a shop myself, so I can imagine just how difficult these times are for local businesses.
‘I’m really proud of the council teams that turned this money around so soon after we received it from the government. We're on track to help even more businesses over the coming days.
‘If you are a small business in Gosport then make sure you read the guidance on our website and apply.’
East Hampshire District Council is also issuing grants to firms within the East Hampshire area, including Clanfield.