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Businesses in Wokingham Have Benefitted From £27 Million Support During Pandemic

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Businesses in Wokingham Borough have benefitted from about £27million of support to date during the Coronavirus crisis, this is made up of business grants and rate relief.

Grants & Rate Relief

The £27million is made up of more than £10million in grants provided directly to businesses and about £17.5million in business rate relief.

Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development, said: “We are a borough of business and a council that supports its entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger companies and this is a time when they need us the most. The scale and speed of the financial help being provided is unprecedented because the challenges facing many of our businesses are unprecedented. About £10million has already been provided in grants to eligible businesses who have applied and we are working swiftly through applications to ensure they are paid in good time.”

The grants available to businesses are:

·         A £10,000 grant to businesses with a Rateable Value of up to £15,000 and who are currently entitled to Small Business Rate Relief in order to help meet their ongoing business costs 

·         A £10,000 grant to businesses who pay no Rates as they currently receive mandatory Rural Rate Relief   

·         A £10,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is up to £15,000  

·         A £25,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is between £15,000 and £51,000

How Businesses Can Apply

Any businesses that believe they are eligible can visit our business webpages to check and apply.

Following on changes from Government of business rate relief (including allowing 100% relief to many childcare providers) a total of £17.5million worth of discounts have been passed to businesses in the borough. The revised bills were sent out last week.

As well as administering the grants and relief as quickly as possible, Wokingham Borough Council has been contacting potentially eligible businesses to encourage them to apply. This has involved redeploying staff from other teams across the council to call and follow-up with them and about 70% of potentially eligible businesses have been contacted.

Cllr Munro added: “There is more money available and we are using business contacts, social media, email and just hitting the phones to make sure businesses get the message. Our website has the latest information for those who think they might be eligible – so please check on it and apply if you are eligible.”

Due to the high number of contacts we are getting from businesses about the Government grant schemes and rate relief, we are being supported by the Berkshire Growth Hub to help businesses and business owners access the other forms of help they might need that are not administered by the local authority.

This includes:

·         Access to loans

·         Business continuity

·         Other business support groups

·         Sector specific loans

Further Information

For further information visit the Berkshire Growth Hub website.

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