The Chief Executive of Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce has thanked Eastbourne Borough Council after 814 businesses in the town registered for a business grant in the first few days since the scheme went live.
The Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund were announced by the government in response to the acute challenges being faced by businesses at this time.
Eligible businesses will receive £10,000 or £25,000 depending on various criteria.
The initiative went live last Thursday (April 9) and since then 814 businesses have visited the portal on the council website, equating to £10.3m in grants.
Christina Ewbank, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: "Unlike other councils that have employed systems of payment that are more reliant on manual checking, Eastbourne and Lewes have an automated process of validation so that eligible businesses will receive what they are due more quickly.
"I'd like to thank Councillor David Tutt and the council teams for working such long hours to put everything in place. Hundreds of businesses in our town will receive millions of pounds this week and that is great news at a time when we are still in lockdown and could be for several weeks to come."
Businesses can visit the council website where they can register on a dedicated portal - www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/businessgrants
When the required information is uploaded, an automated system validates the details and payments to the businesses will soon follow.
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: "Considering the challenges our officers had to overcome, not least the continual government changes in the parameters for making these payments, they have worked miracles to get this system in place so soon.
"For employers and their employees this financial support is critically important and I'm delighted it is now available."
For more information on business support during the coronavirus crisis please visit www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk
Updates and news are also being posted on Twitter - @LewesDC and @EastbourneBC