More than 600 Wiltshire businesses missed out on applying for the government’s Covid-19 business grants.
In Wiltshire 9,091 businesses of the 9,728 eligible for the government’s small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grants applied to Wiltshire for the coronavirus funds.
To date, the council has paid out grants to over 7,571 businesses – totalling over £90m – and say that they have rejected 1,071 due to ineligibility.
While the deadline to apply for grants closed on August 28, the council said that it is still working with businesses and processing applications.
Cllr Pauline Church, cabinet member for finance said: “While the window to apply for small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grants has now closed, we are still working through the grant applications and there are a small number still in the system to process.
“Overall, we received 9,091 applications for small business and retail, hospitality and leisure grants from 9,728 potentially eligible businesses in Wiltshire and have paid out grants to 7,571 businesses totalling over £90 million. To date we have rejected 1,071 applications as ineligible.
“There are a number of businesses who may be eligible that have not applied.
"Although we won’t know the exact reasons why businesses have not applied, this is often due to their accounts being out-of-date and also because some businesses are part of wider national or regional large chains.
“Under the Discretionary Grants scheme, we have received a total of 916 applications and have paid 566 applicants a total of £3.79m.
“We understand this is a stressful time for businesses, and we are keen to help wherever we can with any businesses which have missed out, whether this is through advice, wellbeing support or individual hardship support. Please get in touch with us and we will try to assist.”
According to finance experts, money.co.uk, Wiltshire was among the areas with the highest number of eligible businesses yet to receive a grant, they are among the councils that have paid out the greatest amount of emergency funds across England.
Any funds left unclaimed for b y Wiltshire businesses will go back to the treasury, according to business leaders.