Businesses in Gosport have been given a total of more than £2.6m in grants, to help them through the coronavirus emergency.

Around 200 businesses have received the cash so far, in only a few days.

The grants, made available under a national government scheme, are distributed by Gosport Borough Council to small businesses, and firms in the retail and leisure sectors.

The council has spent extra money to make sure payments get to businesses on the day they are made, and not the usual three to five working days.

Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of the Council, said: "I used to run a shop myself, so I can imagine just how difficult these times are for local businesses. I'm really proud of the council teams that turned this money around so soon after we received it from the government.  We're on track to help even more businesses over the coming days.  If you are a small business in Gosport then make sure you read the guidance on our website and apply."

To apply for a grant, businesses should go to our business rates page or call 023 9254 5470.

The council is aware of companies offering to help businesses get grants in return for a fee. Businesses should ignore these and apply directly to the council at no cost.