In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, delivered through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund.
This additional fund is aimed at small and micro businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.
These grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at:
To be a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year—
To be a micro business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements:
HMRC want local authorities to exercise their local knowledge and discretion and they recognise that economic need will vary across the country, so they are setting some national criteria for the funds but allowing local authorities to determine which cases to support within those criteria.
They are asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:
The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended to guide local authorities as to the types of business that the government considers should be a priority for the scheme. Authorities should determine for themselves whether particular situations not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, whether they should be eligible for grants from this discretionary fund.
Where limits to funding available for this scheme require local authorities to prioritise which types of businesses will receive funding, it will be at the local authorities discretion as to which types of business are most relevant to their local economy. There will be no penalty for local authorities because of their use of discretion to prioritise some business types.
Local authorities should set out the scope of their discretionary grant scheme on their website, providing clear guidance on which types of business are being prioritised, as well as the rationale for the level of grant to be provided (either £25,000, £10,000 or less than £10,000).
This grant funding is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID related scheme (apart from SEISS) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund.
Such grant schemes include but are not limited to:
Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible to apply for this scheme.
Businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are eligible to apply for this scheme as well.
Only businesses which were trading on 11 March 2020 are eligible for this scheme.
Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.