We have received £106,328,000 grant from central govt to support local businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
We are administering the £10,000 grant for businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or rural rates relief. We are also administering the £10,000 grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 and for those businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 a grant of £25,000.
So far this week we:
- have sent out over 8,000 letters to businesses eligible for these grants
- have received over 3,100 applications which are currently being assessed
- have issued over £2.6 million to local businesses; this is ahead of schedule as we were initially planning to release funds from Monday 6 April onwards
- have 40 members of staff who have now been trained to assess applications
- are working over the weekend to continue assessing applications
We are supporting 18 tenants of The Enterprise Network by waiving two months’ rent for their office in TEN Centres covering April and May 2020.
We also held last week our first virtual meeting with over 25 business partners including BEIS and other government departments, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), Business Improvement Districts, Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, and Business West. We have sent them nine emails providing up-to-date information on the government schemes, Wiltshire Council’s additional support such as deferment of business rates payments and progress on the administration of the grant schemes.
In addition, we launched our first Business newsletter last week to 592 subscribers giving updates, information and advice on the support available. Our second edition was issued on 3 April 2020 to 813 subscribers.
Finally, Sam Fox, Director of Economic Development and Planning, attends daily meetings with government and SWLEP to feed issues up to government – this process is influencing decisions at a national level.