Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small and micro businesses with fixed property costs and which did not qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The scheme is designed to provide grants of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

Eligibility

For businesses to be eligible for the fund, the following must apply:

  • Be based in England
  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Have fixed building costs such as rent
  • Was trading on 11 March 2020
  • Has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus

The scheme is to be delivered by local councils who have been asked to prioritise businesses such as:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks or incubators
  • Regular market traders
  • Bed and breakfasts paying council tax instead of business rates
  • Charity properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief

Those who have been able to claim under Small Business Grant Fund or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant will not be able to access further grant funding under this scheme.

Applications need to be made via local councils.

Adur and Worthing Council

Adur and Worthing applications

The application closing date is Sunday 14th June 2020. Any applications after this date will not be considered. 

NOTE: Adur & Worthing Councils are already reporting that they have received a significant number of requests to date and unfortunately it is already clear this fund won’t fully meet local demand.

It is expected therefore that most grant allocations to successful applicants will be up to £10,000. The local council guidance document includes the evidence required to apply and states “the more meaningful the evidence, the more compelling the grant application will be”.

Evidence includes:

  • Property costs such as rent, rates or mortgage payments above the de minimis level of £250 per month. Evidenced by way of signed leases / agreements showing an obligation to pay and bank statements showing that payments have actually been made.
  • Demonstrate a substantial loss in income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Expected to be evidenced by way of accounts for previous years compared to management accounts / bank statements for the current period.
  • Complying with the definition of a small or micro business
  • Confirmation that the business has not received any grant under the other grant schemes.
  • Confirmation of State Aid compliance.

It is expected that all applications will receive notification of the local councils decision within 2-3 weeks of the application deadline (therefore towards the end of June or early July). There will be no appeals process if rejected.

Crawley Borough Council

Crawley applications

Eligible businesses in Crawley can submit applications from 1 to 14 June 2020 inclusive.

The council state that funding is likely to be oversubscribed, meaning only a small minority of business applicants may be successful in securing grants. All applications will be evaluated in accordance with eligibility criteria which includes:

  • A micro or small business in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (less than 50 employees) 
  • An applicant can only receive a maximum of one grant award if successful and must declare if they have made an application in any other local authority area
  • Businesses in administration or which are insolvent are not eligible to apply, neither are businesses where a “striking off” notice has been made
  • Applications should only come from businesses in a property with an annual rateable value (or property cost equivalent) of a maximum of £51,000, apart from very exceptional circumstances
  • Businesses who have applied for the Job Retention Scheme or Self Employment Income Support Scheme are eligible
  • Businesses must provide relevant documentary evidence to support their application, as set out in the online form
  • Any grant award is subject to due diligence checks, including State Aids compliance

For further information or advice on funding for your business, contact our team of specialists on 01903 234094.