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Source: City of Oxford

Businesses in Oxford are now able to apply for lockdown support grants.

The Government grants will provide businesses that have had to close or have been severely impacted by the latest lockdown with grants of up to £3,000 per month.

This will benefit businesses in the retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, and night-time economy sectors in particular.

Oxford City Council, which administers the grants in Oxford, has now put in place systems so that businesses in the city can apply.

The Government will provide grants to businesses that were required to close due to the national lockdown.

The grants, known as Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed), will provide:

  • £1,334 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000
  • £2,000 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £3,000 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more

The grant amounts are fixed.

Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant.

If a business has closed its substantive business but is still offering take-away or click and collect, they should still apply for this grant.

The Government estimates that about 90% of eligible small and medium sized business should have their monthly rent for their premises covered by the grants.

Businesses can apply by visiting: www.oxford.gov.uk/businesssupport.

The Government has also given the City Council funding to provide discretionary grants of up to £2,000 to affected businesses.

The discretionary grant, known as the Additional Restrictions Grant, will initially cover the national lockdown four-week period.

It will be available to Oxford businesses in the retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation or night-time economy sectors that:

  • Do not have a rateable value (e.g. B&Bs and market stall traders) and have had to close as a direct result of lockdown
  • Have not had to close but have been severely impacted as a direct result of lockdown

Businesses can apply by visiting: www.oxford.gov.uk/businesssupport.

The Government has extended the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until March 2021, alongside extending the deadlines to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Future Fund and the Bounce Back Loan.

Grants are also available for businesses in the night-time sector that have been closed since March, and for businesses impacted by the implementation of Tier 2 local restrictions from 31 October to 4 November.

For more information about the wider financial support available to businesses in Oxford, and how to apply, visit www.oxford.gov.uk/businesssupport.

The City Council has been facilitating Government grants throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and has established quick turnarounds while still carrying out robust counter-fraud checks.

Last month (October) the City Council announced that it had provided £26.6m of Government funding to almost 1,800 businesses in the city to support them through the coronavirus pandemic.

“Oxford’s businesses are vital to the city and we are determined to continue doing as much as we can to be sure they get the support that’s being made available.

“We have a dedicated and talented team who have been working tirelessly since the first lockdown to facilitate grants quickly to help Oxford’s businesses.

“If your business has been directly closed or significantly affected by the latest lockdown, please apply for the money available now.

“You can find out more by visiting our website: www.oxford.gov.uk/businesssupport.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre, Covered Market and Culture

MIL OSI United Kingdom