BUSINESSES across Braintree have had millions to help them successfully reopen as lockdown restrictions began to ease.

Hard-hit retail and hospitality businesses have been given money from the Government’s £5 billion Restart Scheme which urged councils to act quickly in getting the money distributed.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show Braintree Council had issued £6.7million in grants to 924 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors under the scheme up to the end of May.

In total, £6.8million was given to the council, leaving £100,111 to still give away by the end of July.

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The scheme, opened in April, was designed to boost the economy ahead of the lifting of restrictions.

It offers one-off grants up to £6,000 for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 for firms in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors.

Across England, £2.6billion had been passed on to more than 340,000 businesses by councils up to the end of May, although the figures for six out of the 309 councils were unavailable.

Despite the amounts paid out, business leaders have complained some councils have been too slow to pass on the money.