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Moray Council pays out nearly £7 million in grants to business, with more help available on council tax payments

By Jonathan Clark

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STAFF in Moray Council’s revenues and benefits section have paid nearly £7 million in grants to local businesses.

The revenues and benefits section of Moray Council, which manages the collection of council tax, non-domestic rates (NDR) and payments of benefits, has paid out £6,695,000 to a variety of business across the area.

More than half of the 1000 applications received have so far been approved and paid. Nearly 400 require further investigation and review, but so far none have been rejected.

Some applicants have not yet received notification on whether their application has been successful or not – but Moray Council has ensured all applicants will hear in the near future. More staff have been drafted in to process applications, many of which are more complex or require more communication with the applicant.

Having cleared most of the initial tranche of grant applications, council tax collection has to take place and NDR bills will be landing on doormats in the near future.

Council tax collection has to take place soon and NDR bills are set to land on doormats.
Council tax collection has to take place soon and NDR bills are set to land on doormats.

But Moray Council Leader, Councillor Graham Leadbitter (SNP, Elgin City South), said people need not panic in this lockdown period and urged anyone struggling to meet their payments to contact the service.

He said: "We all understand these are uniquely challenging times for everyone, in business or not, and our staff stand by ready to help.

"While many small businesses in Moray enjoy 100 per cent rates relief, there is no such relief from the payment of council tax. However, we understand the difficulties some may have in meeting payments during the lockdown and the team are authorised to agree a rescheduling of the tax and business rates bills to minimise any hardship.

"I would encourage anyone expecting to have a problem in meeting any payments to get in touch – by email in the first instance. There is someone there to help, but in any event please be patient.

"In terms of the outstanding business grants, the council hopes this update, along with news that more staff have been dedicated to the grant scheme, will re-assure those who have not yet been contacted."

Contact advisors on revenues@moray.gov.uk, and more information is on the council’s website at http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_93501.html.

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