Councils in Sunderland, Devon and Cornwall have started issuing grant payments to eligible retailers and high street during the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after the UK government announced business support such as grants to cover wages, business rates holidays and cash grants.

Sunderland City Council has made cash grants to businesses amounting to the value of £3.3M. The £10,000 and £25,000 cash grants to businesses announced by the government for Sunderland companies are being administered by Sunderland City Council’s Business Rates team.

Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000 businesses across Cornwall have received a sum of £116M in grant funding to help cope with the impact. Within the last week, 3,500 businesses have applied to Cornwall council for a business support grant. Meanwhile, Torridge District Council in Devonshire has processed more than £17M in grants for businesses affected by the pandemic.

Last week, BDO found that UK high street retailers suffered their worst month on record in March as they were hammered by the Covid-19 lockdown. The BDO High Street Sales Tracker saw total like-for-like sales dive 17.9 per cent for the month as shoppers stayed indoors. In-store sales plunged 34.1 per cent after non-essential stores were ordered by the Prime Minister to shut their doors in the face of the pandemic.