Oxford City Council announced it is paying out up to around £1 million a day in Government grant support to businesses in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Oxford is one of the first authorities in the country to start issuing the funding.
In addition the City Council is also applying business rates relief to firms across the city, with £57.3m of relief applied to 1,527 businesses in total.
The City Council put systems in place to manage the grants at the end of March (27/3), and received £25.2m of funding from the Government to pay the grants last week (1/4).
In just one day this week (Tuesday 7 April), the City Council awarded over 50 grants to local businesses, worth around £1m in total:
- 12 small business Grants totalling £120,000
- 3 lower Retail leisure Hospitality Grants totalling £30,000
- 35 higher Retail leisure Hospitality Grants totalling £875,000
In total, the City Council has now awarded, £2.26m of grants to 109 businesses in Oxford, and is seeking to pay out all of the funding by the end of April – at a rate of around £1 million a day.
The total support provided for Oxford businesses so far in the form of grants and relief is expected to total £83m.
The teams will be continuing to process the business support grants every day until all the Government funding has been paid out.
Supporting local businesses
“In these very difficult times, I’m pleased that Oxford City Council has been among the first in the country to get millions of pounds of Government support out to businesses that desperately need it. Small business grants and business rate reliefs could make the difference between survival and closure for many of our businesses across the city. The feedback we have received from those who have been given the support demonstrates the importance of us all working together during the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council
One of the first businesses in Oxford to receive the small grant funding was Green.TV, a sustainability media company based in central Oxford.
“Green.TV was one of the very first companies to receive a UK government grant, administered by Oxford City Council. The council acted very, very quickly, to open up the channels for this grant funding. It was in our account in a matter of days, helping us to secure vital jobs, and, indeed, the company. This, at a time, when getting funding from other sources is severely compromised”
Ade Thomas, founder of Green.TV
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.