Local authority support
In addition to a number of Coronavirus support packages administered by central Government and associated partners, Oxfordshire businesses can also benefit from specific schemes overseen by the county’s local authorities.
Here, you can find local authority business support information, details on COVID-19 testing available to your business as well as tools to help your business communicate the current COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.
COVID-19 testing for the workplace:
Businesses of any size can sign-up to the Government’s free coronavirus workplace testing programme, which provides free lateral flow tests for employees who cannot work from home. Previously this scheme was only open to businesses with 50 or more employees, but – as of 6 March – this scheme became available to all businesses in Oxfordshire.
Businesses are being encouraged to register their interest to benefit from free tests until the end of June.
If you do not have workplace testing in place, a business whose staff need to leave home to work can take advantage of Oxfordshire’s symptom-free testing programme. Those employees can get a free rapid test as part of Oxfordshire County Council’s symptom-free testing programme.
The county council is working in partnership with the city and district councils to provide rapid testing in locations across the county.
These are the current locations:
- Spiceball Leisure Centre in Banbury
- The Beacon in Wantage
- The King’s Centre in Oxford
- Brownes Hall in Cartetron
Tests take just 15 minutes to complete using a lateral flow device and it involves taking a swab of the back of the throat and inside the nose. The swab is then given to trained staff at the test centre, who process the test on-site.
Results are given within an hour by text message or email. Anyone who tests positive is told to self-isolate and follow the national guidance.
COVID-19 'Stop the Spread' assets for businesses:
Working alongside Oxfordshire County Council, here at OxLEP, we are supporting businesses to help 'stop the spread' of COVID-19 through promotional materials that companies can display in their place of work. Business can find a suite of digital assets and posters below, that can be downloaded to support efforts against Coronavirus.
Please download any of the below materials as required (suitable for digital boards, intranet, websites, social media and email communications).
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Local authority-specific support:
Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG):
The Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) provides councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.
Local Restrictions Support Grants:
The Government will provide grants to businesses that were required to close due to the national lockdown.
The grants, known as Local Restrictions Support Grant, will provide:
- £1,334 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000
- £2,000 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000
- £3,000 per four weeks for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more
The grant amounts are fixed.
Businesses with more than one qualifying property will receive more than one grant. If a business has closed its substantive business but is still offering take-away or click and collect, they should still apply for this grant.
The Government estimates that about 90% of eligible small and medium sized business should have their monthly rent for their premises covered by the grants.
Here are direct links to our local authorities grant funding pages. We encourage businesses to head to their respective local authority websites for more details: