Market traders in Trowbridge have said that the council is making them ‘jump through hoops’ to apply for funding.

Recently, Wiltshire Council launched the local Discretionary Grant scheme after receiving over £5.1m of additional government funding to help small businesses.

However, market stall owners at Castle Place in Trowbridge, some of whom were unable to qualify for earlier government grants, said that the application asks them to produce evidence some will not have.

Chris Irving who owns Grass Roots, said: "Any evidence of support or fixed building rental costs, because we're a market stall we shouldn't have to provide any of this.

"It's a lot to process and it isn't a easy process as it is.

"The government one was just filling in your National Insurance and tax forms, which was easy enough to do but obviously we didn't qualify.

"We only have until June 22 to apply so it only gave me a week to provide all the information.

"I have to email the managers and ask for this and that, and they're going to have their hands full anyway."

David Hayter, who runs the Gift Box stall has only been trading since March and says he doesn’t have much of the evidence.

“I’ve got no comparable trading figures from last year and the bottom line is we’re closed, therefore we’ve lost. That’s all you need to know,” said David.

“I have three weeks and two different figures, I can’t even use the number I took for the first week I was trading because they were down on what I through I would take."

When he spoke to the council they said to fill out form with what he could and that he should still quality for the grant. However, he said that is was like ‘jumping through hoops to get something everyone else has gotten very easily’.

Wiltshire Council said that the required evidence is there to ensure that the businesses were applying for the right grants for their business.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, leader of the council, said: “We have spent a lot of time considering the type of evidence businesses will need to provide to support their application.

“The process for market traders is not onerous.

“They only need to provide one piece of evidence from each category on the application form.

“Also, the business rates section on our form is not a mandatory field.

“The evidence requirements are based on similar practice from other local authorities and we believe the whole process, including the two-week application window, is a fair and reasonable process for the limited funding available for this scheme.

"If anyone is having is struggling, they can contact us and we will help them to complete the form.”