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Oxford City Council facilitates first £170,000 of coronavirus grants to Oxford’s small businesses

Oxford City Council has facilitated the first £170,000 of Government grants to small businesses in the city to support them through the coronavirus outbreak.

The City Council moved quickly to ensure that businesses in Oxford were amongst the first in the country to be able to access the new financial support.

The City Council put systems in place to manage the grants on Friday (27/3), and received £25.3m of funding from the Government to pay the grants yesterday (1/4).

In the last 24 hours, the City Council has provided the first £170,000 of grants to 17 small businesses in Oxford.

So far, the City Council has received more than 500 requests from businesses in Oxford for the grant funding.

The City Council has spent the last week pulling together teams from across the organisation – including financial, payments, fraud investigation, and IT – to quickly implement the new systems.

The teams will be processing the grants every day until all the Government funding has been paid out.

The support now available:

  • Small businesses in Oxford that pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR) and tapered relief are now able to apply for the Government’s one-off grant of £10,000
  • Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure are now able to receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property
  • Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will not have to pay business rates for the 2020/21 tax year

To apply for the funding, visit: www.oxford.gov.uk/supportforbusiness.

The webpage also brings together a wide range of information and guidance about national and local support available to businesses in Oxford.

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “We have moved quickly to ensure that businesses in Oxford are supported, and I’m delighted that the first £170,000 has been handed out.

“We have put additional resources into this area to ensure the money is provided to Oxford’s businesses as quickly as possible, and I would encourage all businesses that qualify to get their applications in.

“Businesses – particularly small- and medium-sized businesses – are the lifeblood of Oxford and its economy, and we are doing everything we can to ensure they survive through the coronavirus outbreak.”