Across Wokingham we are blessed with a variety of small and medium sized businesses that bring vibrancy and diversity to our economy.

Over the last couple of years Wokingham has bucked the national trend and seen retailers and businesses actively opening in our borough.

Covid though has hurt this vital part of our community dramatically. We all know retailers, bars, restaurants and leisure businesses that have been forced to close during lockdown. But they are not the only ones affected. Many independent manufacturers, services and owner/operator businesses locally have been a significantly impacted, or forced to close as a result of the pandemic.

With Government support, last week the Wokingham Borough Council Executive voted to approve a further £3.4million in business support, in the form of non-repayable grants.

£400,000 in discretionary grants is available immediately, a further £3m will be available over the next two years to help small and medium sized businesses cope with the impact of Covid on their business.

To qualify, a business:
o Must have been trading before restrictions came into force
o Must not have received grant payments equal to the State Aid limit o Must be solvent, or not be in administration

A further £230,000 has been allocated for businesses forced to close as a result of Covid.

Did you know, since March over £19m has been provided in Business Rate Relief for local businesses?

This is great news for local businesses in what has been an extremely difficult year.

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