LAST week, the Government announced additional support for businesses as part of a £330bn effort to protect businesses.

Now small businesses have been issued around £1.5m today (April 2) as Wiltshire Council starts to releases vital grants to support struggling businesses.

Earlier this week the council wrote to over 8,000 businesses eligible for either a £10,000 grant for 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 over 2,000 applicants have been received and are currently being assessed and much-needed funding has been 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 £1.5m has been issued ahead of schedule and more funding will be released tomorrow.

“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 closed businesses unable to collect their letters, if you think your are eligible you can go online and complete the grant form at

In addition, the council are offering businesses the opportunity to defer business rates until June.

Those businesses who want to defer their payments should contact the council at

Cllr Whitehead added: “On top of this, we have launched a dedicated contact centre to further support businesses affected by Covid-19.”

“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.”

Businesses with questions on the grant process or eligibility or require further information can contact the council at