TEST Valley Borough Council has paid out almost £1 million pounds to businesses in grant payments.

The authority recently began processing payments for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Scheme after it received its £1.4 million allocation. Currently, £837,500 has been processed and paid out to businesses through Test Valley. Every business which fits the eligibility criteria will receive funding.

Businesses are eligible for payments of either £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000 after central government issued the funding to local authorities across the country in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Small businesses who have ongoing property-related costs but which fall outside the eligibility criteria for the existing business grant schemes, have begun receiving the funds over the last week and the remaining payments are being prioritised for payment.

Leader of the council, Phil North, said: “It is no secret that the pandemic has impacted so many different businesses in various sectors. As those begin their first few weeks reopening, it is vital that we are able to process this money as quickly as possible.

“I’m very grateful to the council’s revenues and welfare team who are working extremely hard to ensure this funding is passed on and that businesses can start planning for the future.”