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Wiltshire Council awarded £183 million of grants to businesses affected by the pandemic

As the government’s Covid grant support schemes come to an end, Wiltshire Council has revealed it has paid £183 million to businesses in the county to help them through the pandemic.

In total, 32,000 payments have been made to support the county’s businesses by the council since March 2020 and throughout the past two years.

This includes grants to support rate-paying businesses, non-rate paying businesses, hospitality and leisure grants, retail grants, and discretionary grants.

Cllr Richard Clewer, leader of the council and cabinet member for economic development, said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for us all, and many Wiltshire businesses have found it particularly challenging as they deal with lockdowns, the constant uncertainty, and the subsequent drops in trade, while doing their best to keep their staff and customers safe.

“We’ve always said that we’ll do all we can to support businesses during the pandemic, and we have done so, issuing many thousands of grants totalling £183 million to Wiltshire businesses, along with campaigns to encourage people to support local businesses, free parking for some periods and rate relief for eligible businesses.

“But I’d particularly like to thank all the council officers who have worked so hard on business grants during the past two years.

“Issuing this many grants, while carefully following eligibility guidelines for several different schemes, gathering the necessary evidence and responding to many thousands of queries, is no small undertaking, particularly as we tended to find out about the national updates at the same time as everyone else.

“We had to bring in staff from across the organisation to support the huge effort of administering and paying the grants, and they have all done a fantastic job under extremely difficult and challenging circumstances.

“As we move out of the pandemic, we will continue to support the great businesses we have here in Wiltshire to help them recover.”

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