Business Services
1st June 2020

COVID-19 Apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

HMRC have confirmed that small and micro businesses 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 Discretionary Grants Scheme.

What businesses may get

Businesses may get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.

Eligibility

You are 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

HMRC have asked local councils 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

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 are already claiming funding

You cannot apply if you are 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 are still eligible if you’ve applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Businesses that apply for the discretionary grants scheme can still apply for coronavirus-related loans if they are 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 are 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 to find out how to apply or contact us and we will help.

What happens next

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.

If you would like further help or advice please call us.