Coronavirus COVID-19: Latest updates

Many council services are reduced or disrupted. Check our coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information. Read the latest and sign up for updates.

Discretionary Business Grants Fund

The Discretionary Grant application process has now closed.

The council has received a substantial number of applications which we  will continue to process.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application via the My Account service. 

We appreciate that businesses urgently need this assistance and are aiming to process applications as quickly as possible.However, it may take up to a further 28 days before we are able to determine an award or make further contact with you.

If you have submitted an application, please be aware that we may email you, requesting further information or evidence in support of your application. This must be returned within 2 working days.

About the scheme

The Discretionary Business Grants Fund scheme aims to help those that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 business restrictions. 

Businesses with ongoing fixed property costs may be eligible for a grant from the Discretionary Grants Fund scheme if they were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. This fund is also aimed at charities which were not eligible for a small business grant because they received charitable rates relief. 

Businesses will not have to pay the grant back, but it will be taxable. This fund is significantly smaller than the previous coronavirus related grant fund schemes but we hope to support as many small businesses across the borough as possible.

Grant amounts 

The value of the grant payment made to a business is at the discretion of the council. Grants up to the value of £25,000 may be awarded.  

It is expected that the majority of grants will be below £10,000 depending on the type of business and level of property costs. You must also confirm that by receiving the grant, you comply with the regulations governing state aid.

Allocation of funding

This table sets out the proposed grant awards for each application category:

Target Group Grant award
Shared Spaces: non transient businesses that are not on the business ratings list and without remote working options and in sectors affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Annual Fixed Property Costs

Grant Award

£1,000 to £9,999

£5,000

£10,000 to £14,999

£7,500

£15,000 and above

£10,000

Supplier businesses: hospitality, retail, leisure and events-dependent supply chain businesses

Annual Fixed Property Costs

Grant Award

£1,000 to £9,999

£5,000

£10,000 to £14,999

£7,500

£15,000 to £50,999

£10,000

RV of £51,000 and above

£25,000

Bed and Breakfast businesses that are not eligible for the business rates based schemes   Single tier award: £2,500 
Charities

Annual Fixed Property Costs

Grant Award

£1,000 to £9,999

£5,000

£10,000 to £14,999

£7,500

£15,000 to £50,999

£10,000

RV of £51,000 and above

£25,000

Park cafes with a lease or license to trade from premises in a public park Single tier award: £2,500
Market Traders (full-time and non-casual) operating at markets licensed by the council or at markets managed by private operators Single tier award: £1,500
Other Business categories: applications will need to demonstrate loss of income resulting from COVID-19 trading restrictions

Annual Fixed Property Costs

Grant Award

£6,000 to £9,999

£5,000

£10,000 to £14,999

£7,500

£15,000 to £50,999

£10,000

RV of £51,000 and above

£25,000

Anti-fraud measures  

The council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

The government’s Grants Management Function and Counter Fraud Function have made their digital assurance tool, Spotlight, available to local authorities to support the application process. In addition to the pre-payment eligibility checks there will be a process managed by Internal Audit which uses government schemes such as the National Fraud Initiative to ensure the council takes reasonable steps to prevent fraud and error.