Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Wiltshire Council pledges to do 'all it can' to protect businesses and jobs

Wiltshire Council headquarters


Wiltshire Council has pledged to do "all it can" to protect businesses and safeguard jobs in the county.

The promise was made as the authority launched its own response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Working alongside the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the authority will be responsible for delivering, or signposting businesses towards, a range of support packages from central government. These include:

  • giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses a 100 percent business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • increasing grants to businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or rural rate relief from £3,000 to £10,000
  • providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

Cllr Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council and cabinet member for economic development, said: "We recognise that businesses throughout Wiltshire will be concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on their livelihood, and we want to do all we can to protect Wiltshire businesses and safeguard jobs.

"The government has announced a range of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by COVID-19, including a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet ongoing costs.

"This is a fast-moving situation and information will be looked at and communicated as it becomes available. We are still awaiting further details on how this grant and other benefits will be rolled out. Further details will be posted on www.wiltshire.gov.uk and the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub website as soon as they are made available.

"Should any business need help before details are released, I would urge to them to contact either the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub, Wessex Chambers of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses.

"Help and advice is available, and we will be releasing more details on how businesses can apply for grants as soon as we have them."

Further guidance from the government on the details of the business rates holiday are expected in the next few days and details of the grant schemes are expected in the next few weeks.