Over 7,000 businesses have been issued £86.37m from Wiltshire Council.

As of Friday, June 16 the council has issued 5,301 Small Business grants, totalling £53m and a further 1,920 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with grants worth £33.36m.

Of the those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, 944 received a £25,000 grant and 976 received a £10,000 grant.

The council also said that they have received over 700 applications for the Local Discretionary Grant, and the applications are now being reviewed and processed.

Additionally, around 400 businesses took up the council's offer to defer rates payments in April and May.

A council spokesman said: "As landlord, we provided 40 tenants of the Enterprise Network a two-month rent holiday in April and May and encouraged them to apply for the local Discretionary scheme."

"Our Contact Centre has dealt with over 2,840 emails from businesses for support and advice since it was set up to respond to Covid-19."

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We recognise that businesses throughout Wiltshire are extremely concerned about the impact Covid-19 is having on their livelihood. We are committed to doing all we can and as quickly as we can to protect local businesses and safeguard jobs.

“Over the last few months we have been working 7-days a week to process grant claims to ensure businesses receive this vital injection of cash and help keep their business afloat.

"We have provided a Business Re-opening Pack and Toolkit full of advice and handy tips to help businesses re-open safely and we are currently implementing temporary changes to several high streets making it easier for residents to visit shops while maintaining social distancing.

“We are also thinking more strategically and long-term on what we can do to help mitigate further impacts of Covid-19 and support Wiltshire’s businesses and economy through the coming months and years.”