AROUND £1.5 million has been given to support struggling businesses in Wiltshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

Wiltshire Council has written to more than 8,000 businesses eligible for either a £10,000 grant for businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or rural rates relief and up to £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Since then more than 2,000 applications have been received and are currently being assessed.

Yesterday (April 2), much-needed funding was transferred to the first 58 local businesses.

Philip Whitehead, the leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to release the first grants to help support our local businesses that are struggling to survive the impact of COVID-19. We appreciate how stressful this time is for businesses and we are working around the clock to issue this funding as quickly as possible. It is a testament to this hard work that the first £1.5 million has been issued ahead of schedule and more funding will be released tomorrow.

“Businesses that have received our letter are being asked to complete an online grant form. It is vital they come back to us with any information that we require as quickly as possible. We have received some incomplete forms which means we are having to go back and ask for the information causing a delay in processing the grant. Wherever possible could businesses please include their letter reference number, as it will allow us to match their details much faster.

“For businesses that are closed and are unable to collect their letter, if you think your business is eligible you can complete the online grant form at

“In addition, we are also offering businesses the opportunity to defer business rates payments for two months, and not pay in April and May. Those businesses wishing to take advantage of this can contact

“On top of this, we have launched a dedicated contact centre to further support businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses who have queries on the grant process or their eligibility or require further information and advice can contact us at

“We are all in this together and it is only by supporting each other that our Wiltshire businesses and local economy can weather the extreme challenges currently being faced.”