Winchester City Council urges businesses to apply for unclaimed COVID-19 financial support

Businesses across Winchester district are being urged to check whether they can claim national financial support.

The city council has already distributed over £23.5 million in grants across April and May to 1900 businesses. The financial aid is available to some small businesses, and certain business cuts in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

Although the council has written to all businesses that records show are in line for support, it is estimated that a further 300 businesses may be eligible, but have yet to make a claim. Business owners are being urged to contact the council’s revenues team as soon as possible by email: businessrates@winchester.gov.uk or telephone on 01962 848288 to check their eligibility. More information on the scheme is available on the council’s website https://www.winchester.gov.uk/business/covid-19-support

Any business owner seeking guidance can call the council’s dedicated helpline on 01962 814915 or sign up for its regular Entrepreneur E-newsletter

Cllr Anne Weir, Cabinet Member for Local Economy, said:

“It’s not too late to access this financial support, and we are urging eligible businesses to do this as soon as possible. These grants could be a lifeline for hard working business owners across our district and we want to make sure every penny possible reaches those people who are entitled to it. Our teams are here to guide you through the options that might be available, including a new fund that was announced by the Government on May 1.”

The council has also joined forces with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and partners to carry out a business survey to assess the impact of the government funding schemes, which will help inform the shape of ongoing support to the local economy.

The government announced on May 1 a new discretionary fund for some further small businesses that did not fall within the initial schemes. The council is waiting for further guidance on the detail of this fund and will then contact eligible businesses.