Businesses in Torbay are being urged to ensure they apply for grant funding soon.

Up to 300 eligible businesses have not yet applied for business grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 and time is running out.

This means there is at least £3million available, which does not have to be paid back, but so far unclaimed.

The Government has announced that the scheme, set up to help businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, will close soon and payments must be made by Friday, August 28.

The council is urgently contacting eligible businesses to encourage them to apply so they can take advantage of these grants while they are still available.

Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet member for regeneration, explained the more businesses receiving this funding the larger the pot of money available for the next round of discretionary funding.

He said: “It is possible these businesses may think these are loans which have to be paid back but they don’t.

“The more people apply for these grants, the bigger the pot will be for the discretionary funding from which even more businesses will benefit.

“It may be some business owners don’t need a grant and are not keen to take public money but by applying, they will be helping support other businesses which really do need it.”

Anyone running or owning a business that meets the criteria is being asked to make sure they apply.

The more of these ratepayer grants claimed by eligible businesses, the more grant funding can be given out through the discretionary fund.

Grants are available for small businesses from the Small Business Grants Fund and pubs, shops, hotels, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, leisure centres can apply for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund.

Cllr Darren Cowell, deputy leader of the council and Cabinet member for finance, said: “We urge all eligible businesses to take full advantage of all the financial help and support on offer. The council and TDA have been working hard with business groups to provide support and guidance.

“We have to date made over £36m of emergency grant payments across the grant schemes and hope to continue to provide much-needed financial support to as many businesses in the local economy before these schemes are closed by central Government.”