Torridge District Council has said it has done as much as it can do in processing support grants for businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis.

By the end of Friday (April 17), the council had transferred nearly £21.5million to local businesses.

It has paid out to 83.36 per cent of eligible businesses, putting it ninth in the country for percentage of business rates paid.

There are 394 eligible businesses in Torridge who had not yet claimed under the scheme as of Friday.

Steve Hearse, TDC’s strategic manager for resources, said: “Despite having to key in the application details for nearly 2,000 businesses from submitted forms the Business Rates team have done an amazing job reaching these milestones in just over a week.

“Feedback suggests that this quick turnaround has made a huge difference to many businesses, with as an example one writing that it had meant the difference between keeping their business running or closing altogether. In that case they still had to pay rent, water rates, and electricity on their business premises while not being able to trade.

“At the same time we have also been proactive in making contact with any businesses that from information held on our systems appeared to be eligible for a grant.

“Unless there are further announcements from the Government we have done as much as we can for now but we would urge anyone who thinks they may still be eligible to contact the council.”