A BUSINESS owner has said she hopes more can be done to help those 'falling through the gaps' of government coronavirus support, as an MP tries to help.

Oxford's entertainments listings publication Daily Info is among the companies which have not been able to claim the government's small business relief grant of £10,000 following the coronavirus lockdown.

Director Susie Cogan said the company is 'well placed' to recover, but hoped the government would find ways to fix the holes in its offerings.

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Companies in similar positions have contacted Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, who is raising the issue with the government in her role as shadow chancellor.

Daily Info has been unable to claim the small business rates relief grant of £10,000 because it does not claim small business rates relief, which has been used as the benchmark for the emergency funding.

This is because the company pays a fee to sublet its office on Cowley Road from a larger company which is responsible for paying business rates on the building.

Ms Cogan said: “It is devastating really when you are a small business, we have slashed our outgoings. We are purveyors of information so to completely stop and not have a presence at all means we would be in a bad position later on.

“We are giving out important information about fun things still going on, as well as important stuff but all our revenue has disappeared.

“Something like £10,000 for an outfit like ours would be enormous."

The director said the company had been able to take advantage of the furlough scheme, with only four staff members still working from home.

Its remaining eight delivery staff and three office workers had all been furloughed.

The company is also applying for a business relief loan and has cash reserves as a security.

Oxford Mail:

Anneliese Dodds. Picture: UK Parliament.

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds said she has been raising the issue of businesses being unable to claim if they do not claim rates relief with the chancellor.

She and her team have had a 63 per cent raise in the number of contacts from constituents in the last month due to the number of local businesses worried about the government funding.

Constituents have also contact Ms Dodds, who is the shadow chancellor, due to issues with the government-back loans scheme.

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She has taken up their worries with her opposite in government, Rishi Sunak.

Ms Dodds said: “My team and I have been working hard to ensure that local businesses and individuals can access the government support they need and are entitled to. Where this support falls short, I have been working with the government to point out gaps in their scheme and propose solutions."

Oxford City Council has also written a letter to the government asking it to iron out flaws in the funding (See page 10).