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B&NES Council Corporate Strategy 2020 to 2024

Business Grants

Since the onset of COVID-19, our Business and Skills team, operating under the Invest in Bath brand, has been working incredibly hard to give targeted help to companies affected by the pandemic.

Our aim is to help businesses not only survive these challenging times, but to flourish as we move into recovery.

The team has processed more than 9,000 applications for the various grants offered by the government including the:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
  • Discretionary Grant scheme for charities and small or micro businesses
  • November and January lockdown grants
  • Additional Restrictions Grants
  • Grants for specific businesses during tier 2 and 3 restrictions
  • Christmas Support Payment to wet-led pubs

Around £47m in grants have now been awarded to local businesses through these schemes, and thousands of eligible retail, leisure, and hospitality premises across the district have also been awarded Business Rate discounts.

We have also subsidised a series of free support sessions for businesses covering a range of subjects via individual Zoom meetings and webinars. Hundreds of businesses have received help with emergency financial planning, business planning, human resources, online training, and reopening preparations. An example of the team’s success is a local retailer who moved to online trading after being given support, and turned over £10,000 in sales within a month.

The team has also compiled a database on its website of essential information to support businesses to safely reopen and renew. This includes the following:

  • The latest guidance on business responsibilities
  • Information on social distancing, queuing and managing customers
  • Risk assessments and health and safety
  • Food safety
  • PPE
  • Travel
  • Training and redundancy support
  • Opportunities

Businesses can also directly contact the team with specific concerns and questions and be signposted to support services.

The team continues to engage with and support our business sectors most affected by COVID-19. For example, by supporting retail centres with their reopening plans, assisting businesses with filling any skills gaps, and by providing support for employers who unfortunately need to make redundancies.

The team is also working on a number of projects as part of the Renewal Board, contributing to all three work packages involved in rebuilding a strong, resilient economy in Bath and North East Somerset.