Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Swindon Council pays out £25 million in Covid grants – and warns of scams

 

Swindon Council says it has paid out more than £25 million in cash grants to 2,000 small businesses and firms operating in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors which have been hit by coronavirus restriction measures.

And it has issued a warning about scams targeting business owners. Businesspeople are urged to look out for an email purporting to be from the ‘Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer)' which requests re-submission of application details in order to receive the Covid-19 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant.

Anyone who receives such an email is urged to contact the council's corporate fraud team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The government grants, says the council, are easy to apply for. Eligibility and a claim form can be found at www.swindon.gov.uk/covidbusiness

The council has also revealed it has received Discretionary Grants Fund guidance for affected small businesses with fixed property costs. The Government has asked local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates

The fund – which will award grants of up to £25,000 – is aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to coronavirus restriction measures.

Applications for grants will be invited soon.