Oxfordshire businesses urged to submit grant requests

Businesses across Oxfordshire that are yet to submit their details for grant support in response to COVID-19 should do so as soon as possible.

Published: Monday, 27th April 2020

This includes those who already receive 100 per cent rate relief.

Businesses across Oxfordshire that are yet to submit their details for grant support in response to COVID-19 should do so as soon as possible, including those who already receive 100 per cent rate relief.

Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council are working really hard to ensure that those who are eligible for support receive their money as quickly as possible.

The councils are contacting businesses directly to remind them to submit their requests and are urging all those who haven’t already done so, and who need funding support, to go to their respective council’s website and complete the online form.

The councils have confirmed that businesses which receive 100 per cent rate relief, who therefore do not pay any rates, may still be eligible for this grant and should continue to submit their details if they need financial assistance.

The councils also want to assure all eligible businesses that this grant does not need to be paid back.

For more information and to confirm your eligibility for a Business Grant please go to:

• Cherwell - cherwell.gov.uk/business
• Oxford - oxford.gov.uk/supportforbusiness
• South Oxfordshire – southoxon.gov.uk/businessrates
• Vale of White Horse – whitehorsedc.gov.uk/businessrates
• West Oxfordshire - westoxon.gov.uk/business-and-licensing/coronavirus-business-and-licensing

Cllr Lynn Pratt, Lead Member for Economy at Cherwell District Council, said: “Coronavirus is putting severe pressure on businesses all over Oxfordshire, but the councils are rising to the challenge set by Government to get this grant funding to them as soon as possible.

“The majority of the businesses in our district that may be eligible have so far sent us their forms. We are now raising awareness to make sure the remainder visit our website and send us their information at the earliest opportunity.”

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of Oxford and its economy, and we are doing everything we can to ensure they survive through the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have already written to all small businesses in Oxford to encourage them to apply but we do not have contact details for all eligible businesses, so it is vital that they contact us.

“If you operate a business in Oxford and would like to apply for grant funding, please visit: oxford.gov.uk/supportforbusiness.”

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “If you are a business owner, and are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic, we urge you to submit your details as soon as possible for this support grant. And remember, you may still be eligible even if you do not have to pay business rates.”

Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “This grant is already providing a vital lifeline to many businesses across Oxfordshire, helping to ensure that they can stay in business beyond the current situation. If you are in need of financial support, please visit your council’s website as soon as possible to submit your details.”

Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We have a dedicated team working really hard to make sure every eligible business receives their money as soon as possible.

“We are aware of how important it is to so many and we are making every effort to process the applications quickly.”

Additional information for businesses about the grants

Businesses receiving Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief who wish to receive grants of £10,000 are required to provide information via the form on their respective council website. Awards will be considered in accordance with government guidelines.

Businesses which are in receipt of the Enhanced Retail Discount for 2020/21 and have a rateable value of up to £15,000 which are not covered by the Small Business Grant Fund will also receive a grant of £10,000, in accordance with Government guidelines. Retail Leisure and Hospitality business properties with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses are eligible for a grant on more than one property, providing they meet the criteria. However, they must submit a separate form for each property.

Please note, if you are self-employed and in urgent need of financial assistance the Government has advised that you should apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction. This will provide you with support until a grant for the self-employed becomes available in June.

For more information please visit – gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support