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Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (England)

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Small and micro businesses in England with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the newly launched Discretionary Grants Fund. The scheme is operated by local councils with applications open from 1st June. Time frame for applications is limited however, with most local authorities providing a tight 2 week window and businesses advised to apply as soon as possible due to limited availability of the funds – check with your local authority for details.

(For details of available funding for Scottish businesses please visit: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-businesses/)

What’s available?

A grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

Eligibility

You’re potentially eligible if your business:

  • is based in England
  • has fewer than 50 employees
  • has fixed building costs such as rent
  • was trading on 11 March 2020
  • has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

Suggested priority has been given to:

  • 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

Local councils have discretion about how to prioritise this funding. Please check with your council for details of their scheme.

You cannot apply if your business is in administration, insolvent or has received a striking-off notice.

If you’re already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under another government grant scheme, such as:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme
  • Zoos Support Fund
  • Dairy Hardship Fund

You’re still eligible if you’ve applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and businesses that apply for the discretionary grants scheme can also still apply for coronavirus-related loans if they’re eligible.

If you already get state aid, the discretionary grants fund counts towards state aid. Payments of £10,000 or less count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period - €200,000. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework.Payments of £25,000 count as state aid under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. The limit for the framework is €800,000.

Your local council will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that:

  • you will not exceed the relevant state aid threshold
  • you were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019. This applies only to the COVID-19 Temporary Framework

How to apply

Visit your local council’s website as soon as possible to find out how to apply.  Your local council will run an application process and decide whether to offer you a grant.

You do not have to pay the grant back but it will be taxable. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.


For advice or more information on Discretionary Grants Fund, please contact us on 0808 144 5575 or email covid19help@armstrongwatson.co.uk

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