A TOTAL of £21m has been handed to businesses in Inverclyde affected by the pandemic.

Council chiefs reported the figures as many of the schemes close down.

In a new report they reassured councillors that robust checks were put in place to ensure only valid payments were made.

Hundreds of businesses have received closure and hardship grants.

A total of £3m in restart grants was paid out recently.

Almost 400 taxi drivers have also recently shared £567,000 in payments to help address some of the downturn in trade.