Businesses in Shropshire and Herefordshire have received more than £154 million of Government grant support during the coronavirus pandemic to date, new figures have revealed.

The chair of the Marches LEP, Mandy Thorn, congratulated the region’s three councils for their work in issuing the funding to businesses and welcomed a new discretionary grant fund introduced to help companies which may be falling through the cracks.

A recent LEP survey showed that about half of businesses in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin were eligible for a £10,000 grant for small businesses and a £25,000 grant for retail, leisure & hospitality businesses.

Other businesses are able to access a new discretionary fund from local councils as well as loans through the Bounce Back scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show that £154.7m had been paid out to 13,189 businesses by June 3 2020.

Mrs Thorn said: “Thousands of our businesses have been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many seeing a complete loss of revenue in recent weeks. This grant funding has been a lifeline for many of them and I’d like to congratulate our local authority partners for getting this money out of the door.

“It has been a mammoth task and the council business support teams in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have worked incredibly hard to make sure these grants reach businesses in need.”

More than £52.3m has been paid to 4,564 businesses in Herefordshire; £71.8m to 6,079 businesses in Shropshire and £30.5m to 2,546 businesses in Telford & Wrekin.

Mrs Thorn added: “There are still many businesses which may be eligible for this grant funding or the new discretionary grants which have recently opened for applications and I would encourage people to apply. We know staff and rents have to be paid and this financial support could literally save some of our region’s businesses.

“As well as listing available grants, the Marches Growth Hub has more than 150 different business support programmes including access to finance schemes and businesses can find out more by visiting”