COUNCIL chiefs are ramping up support for businesses and residents in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses was announced in the Budget by the Chancellor, with more announcements expected to help minimise the impact of COVID-19.

The council has formed a partnership to help deliver some of this assistance, alongside Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, local business improvement districts, Groundwork, the Local Chambers, Marketing Cheshire and neighbouring local authorities.

Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “This is a fast moving and dynamic situation, with more information coming through all of the time. I want to offer assurances to businesses in Cheshire West that the local response to national plans will be ready.

"Businesses of all sizes - from sole traders to multinational companies - are being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. We are working with our partners across Cheshire and Warrington to maintain a suite of resources and support local businesses and employers.”

The first scheme will be a grant of £10,000 for businesses receiving small business rate relief and rural rate relief with a rateable value of under £15,000.

In Cheshire West this will provide more than £46 million of support for small businesses.

The second scheme focuses on the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for organisations that do not receive small business rate relief and have a rateable value under £51,000.

This will be a grant offer of up to £25,000 and there will be guidance from central government to help identify eligible businesses.

Cllr Beacham added: “There will be two grant schemes to support small businesses that will be administered by the council.

"Our staff are playing an important role by working closely with central government to help shape the grants process, and I hope the government will release payments within weeks once the announcements have been made.”

Meanwhile, the council continues to have a legal duty to collect council tax.

Anyone struggling to pay the rate should email to discuss potential re-profiling payments.