More financial support has been announced by Derbyshire County Council for businesses affected by the Toddbrook Reservoir incident to help them meet immediate cash flow issues.
Businesses were closed for up to a week during an emergency evacuation after heavy rainfall caused damage to the dam wall, sparking concerns that the town could flood.
Now the Business Recovery Loan Fund, which provides loans of up to £1,500 for eligible businesses, has been launched to support businesses as they recuperate.
The loan fund is in addition to the £100,000 set aside by the county council for Emergency Business Support Grants and is being funded with the support of Defra which matched the council’s £100,000 contribution.
More than 50 businesses have already received fast-tracked Emergency Business Support Grants of £300 from the county council.
Businesses can apply for support through either fund, or both.
Firms which are located within the Toddbrook Reservoir emergency exclusion zone and employ less than 50 people are eligible for a loan to be re-paid to the county council within 30 days – or up to 3 months depending on the circumstances of the business.
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said: “The situation at Toddbrook Reservoir and the effect it has had on the town of Whaley Bridge, and surrounding area, has been unprecedented and we understand the impact this incident has had on small firms.
“That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops to give local businesses a helping hand to get back on track.
“Key to that is ensuring businesses don’t experience difficulties due to cash flow and through a combination of emergency grants, loans and one-to-one business support, we aim to help those affected to recover quickly and get back to normal trading as soon as possible.”
A multi-agency hub set up to offer help and advice in the days following the emergency has now closed but support for businesses remains available through the D2N2 Growth Hub.
Councillor Anthony Mckeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “Everyone affected by this major incident has shown remarkable resilience and strength alongside a desire to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
“While the hub has now closed, we and our partners at the county council are here to do all we can to help with recovery, and if we are missing anything in the support being offered please get in touch.
“Whaley Bridge and the other affected areas along the River Goyt are very much open for business and I’d encourage people to support the admirable spirit shown by the local community by visiting the town and affected businesses in Furness Vale and New Mills to enjoy the shops and facilities on offer.”
Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire is offering businesses in the exclusion zone free membership and weblisting with Visit Peak District until 31 December to aid recovery. Call 01246 212924 and quote Toddbrook Reservoir Exclusion Zone.