Businesses have obviously been impacted by the pandemic and have had to look for financial help through grants, nationally and locally.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of small businesses who have initially been refused grants due to uncertainty around eligibility for their type of business, causing financial hardship during these incredibly tough times.

During a recent constituency surgery I met with two different small business owners who had been refused grants from the Council. Thanks to concerted efforts and repeated representations from myself and my office, they have now received their grants – running into thousands and thousands of pounds.

One of the constituents, Mr Abbas who runs UDP on Borough Road, said: “Andy is a very, very helpful man and so generous with his time.  He went into everything very thoroughly, including examining the many rules and regulations.  He went well beyond what I would have expected of an MP and I much appreciate all that he did to help me get my grant.”

The other, owner of Colourbox on Marton Road, said: “Thank you Andy for all of the help you have given me and your time, without your help I don’t think I would have got this far.”

I am delighted we have secured much needed financial support for these businesses. It has been a really tough time, and while overall Middlesbrough Council have done a marvellous job in distributing grants, these business owners having to fight to get what they are perfectly entitled to has been an unnecessary stress.  We are here to help constituents and will continue to do so.

Pictured here visiting Mr Abbas at his Borough Road business.

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