Advice and support for businesses

The councils are prioritising awarding the extensions to retail rate relief to existing accounts and working to identify eligible ratepayers. Work has also taken place to identify and collate the necessary information to allow the councils to pay Small Business and Retail Grants.

Letters have gone out to ratepayers who we believe qualify. To claim a grant, businesses should complete the required form which can be found at:

Payments will begin to be processed from week commencing 6 April.

Those that can pay their bills should do so as normal, however those businesses who are genuinely having difficulty paying their business rates should contact our business rates team via:

The South & Vale Business Support team publishes the latest government advice and support on svbs.co.uk and via twitter (@TeamSVBS), including about rates relief and business support grants. Business can also sign up to receive an e-newsletter via the website.

The website also lists the latest job vacancies for individuals seeking temporary employment, exercises to stay healthy while working from home, and links to mental health organisations.

The government has advised those who are self-employed who are in urgent need of financial assistance to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction. This will provide them with support until a grant for the self-employed becomes available in June.

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "We know this is an extremely challenging and worrying time for many people. We hope that the measures we are putting in place will help to put people's minds a little more at ease. Above all though, our advice is, if you are struggling to pay please get in touch with our council tax or business rates teams and they will do their best to help you."