Thousands of small businesses received support during the outbreak, council authorities confirmed.

Bexley says it has helped give nearly £63m in grants and Business Rates relief to businesses affected by the pandemic on behalf of the government.

Council authorities has distributed £31.4m of grants to 2,530 small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, to help deal with the adverse impacts of Covid-19.

Almost 2,000 businesses have received relief from Business Rates amounting to £29.9m - and 34 nurseries £0.5m.

Bexley has also paid more than £1m so far under the government's Discretionary Business Grants Scheme for small businesses.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor David Leaf said: "The level of support the Government has provided in grants and business rate relief is significant and will make a difference to many businesses across the Borough.

"We have worked hard to get this financial support out to eligible businesses as quickly as possible and I would like to thank the staff who pulled out all the stops to make this happen."

Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, Councillor Louie French added:

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the borough and we hope that the hard work we put in has helped them through what we know has been a very difficult period."