A DENTIST is upset after being refused financial support during the coronavirus pandemic – especially as his is the only High Street business to be refused a grant.

Richard Sheen, who owns OMCDS Dental Practice in Droitwich, said it’s “ridiculous” to be the only business in the High Street and Old Market Court to have not received funding by Wychavon District Council.


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Mr Sheen, has practised in Droitwich for 27 years and missed out on the funding after expanding his business. He also feels hard done by as he says he has brought a lot businesses into the high street.

He said: “This is rather upsetting.

“I was forced to close for three months at a loss of approximately £60,000 turnover, while overheads remained the same. Apart from the furlough of one member of staff, I received no help from HMG.

“The risk of catching Covid as a practicing dentist is high. I am specialising in a field of dentistry that deals in pain relief, I am therefore rather upset that Wychavon District Council or HMG does not seem to recognise the efforts I have made to help the local economy and population.”

Mr Sheen expanded his practice to grow the business in 2007. As a result of the expansion his rateable value (RV) has been assessed to be £18,250. He applied for the grant in April, but was refused as the cut off is £15,000.

Mr Sheen sent a Freedom of Information request which shows that he was the only business in the High Street and Old Market Court which applied for a grant not to receive one.

Mr Sheen added: “I have one of the oldest businesses in the High Street. When I started the practice half of the properties in the High Street were empty. In my opinion I have drawn business into the High Street and increased foot fall over the years.

“It’s ridiculous. As a key worker who is working in the middle of the coronavirus and to be refused, yet there is a tattooist across the road who is receiving funds.”

Phil Merrick, director of economy and environment for Wychavon District Council, said: “We sympathise with Mr Sheen and he is far from being the only business to miss out on financial support from the Government.

“The Government gave us strict criteria to determine eligibility for the grant scheme. Any business in receipt of small business rates relief through having a rateable value of up to £15,000 on their premises, was eligible for a £10,000 grant. Any business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, with a rateable value above £15,000 and up to £50,999, was eligible for a grant of £25,000. “Unfortunately, Mr Sheen’s rateable value exceeds £15,000, ruling him out of the first scheme, and the Government made it clear that dentists cannot be considered as ‘retail, hospitality or leisure’. He was therefore also ineligible for that grant too.

“We were given £1.5million of additional discretionary funding to help support some of those businesses that missed out on the original schemes. We were given guidance by the Government to prioritise this money to support charities, business in shared spaces, B&Bs paying Council Tax and market traders with fixed building costs. We also chose to support retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that just missed out on the main grant funding as those areas of the economy have been hardest hit.