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Nearly £6.5 million awarded to help local businesses

More than 2,000 businesses have received a much-needed relief award totalling almost £6.5 million to help reduce their business rates thanks to South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

In total, £6,471,842 was allocated to businesses, using the government’s Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF), to help organisations that were unable to receive previous government Covid-19 grants despite having been badly affected by the pandemic.

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property Assets at South Oxfordshire District Council, said, “We’ve been able to release the government’s support funding to many local businesses during the last two years but were aware that some others were falling through the cracks and unable to apply for financial support.  CARF was specifically for those businesses to help relieve the pressure of paying their business rates while trying to continue to offer their goods and services to our residents.”

Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Assets at Vale of White Horse District Council, said, “We’re delighted to have helped organisations based in the Vale, which are still struggling and feeling the effects of the having to close their doors during the pandemic, particularly those based in rural locations.”

In South Oxfordshire, £2,787,182 was distributed to 1,047 eligible businesses, which reduced their net business rates by 35 per cent.  In the Vale of White Horse, a total of £3,630,660 was allocated to 1,089 eligible businesses, which reduced 40 per cent of their net business rates.