BUSINESSES owners facing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic say they have been boosted by funding that aims to get them through the crisis.

Since March, Wirral Council has distributed more than £51m in businesses grants to 4,600 firms.

Several of those that received grants expressed their relief and hopes for the future.

Comments from local businesses include: "I am crying my eyes out - thank you so much. You’ve allowed my business to survive - I will crack on now, grow, and prosper."

"This money will be invaluable in trying to generate new clients and enable me to bring furloughed employees back into the business, and hopefully not have to make any redundancies."

"Thank you very much for this vital support."

"It'll go a long way towards helping us achieve the long-term aspirations of the business and the ongoing job security of my team."

Wirral Council's cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: "I am proud that we got these vital grants out quickly to help businesses survive - with more than £27m paid out in just the first two weeks.

"After the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it is clear this cash was a lifeline and will be important for the long-term recovery of local companies."

As shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants have started to reopen in recent weeks, council officers produced a business toolkit to summarise and direct business owners to useful guidance.

Virtual meetings have been held with licensees to ensure everyone understands the new regulations and is equipped to reopen their businesses safely.

As new grant streams continue to be announced, the Council continues its commitment to publicising these across the borough, working with partners in the Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses.

Cllr Williamson said: "When I read letters which say things like: 'You have no idea how much difference this money will make to my business but more importantly to my family', it makes me all the more resolved to keep finding ways to help local firms survive this crisis."

A number of ratepaying businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief and Expanded Retail Relief are yet to come forward to claim a grant and the Council is urging businesses to apply without delay, while the scheme is still available.

For more information, visit