Discretionary business grants

The application window for these grants closed at midnight on Sunday 21 June.

A new discretionary business grants fund has launched to help those small businesses which were ineligible for a payment from the original grant fund, have fixed property related costs and have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Government has provided funding for the scheme and guidance that sets out the criteria which councils should consider as they manage the local authority discretionary grants fund.

The full guidance can be viewed on the government website.

The council’s discretionary business grant scheme policy was approved on Tuesday 9 June 2020.

There will be a 12 day window in which businesses can apply for the additional funding and as the number of applications is expected to exceed the available funding, businesses are encouraged to fill in the online form before the deadline at midnight, 21 June.

As this grant funding is for businesses not eligible for other grant funding support schemes, if you have already received a payment from one of the following then you will not be eligible for a grant from the discretionary business grants fund:

  • Small business grant fund
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure fund
  • The Fisheries response fund
  • Domestic seafood supply scheme (DSSS)
  • The zoos support fund
  • The dairy hardship fund

Furthermore, if any of the following apply you will not be eligible for help.

  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • Businesses that are not actively trading
  • Businesses operating from a residential address or where the person works from home

Please note that businesses which have applied for the coronavirus job retention scheme are eligible to apply, as are businesses that have furloughed staff. Businesses in receipt of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are also eligible to apply for this discretionary grant.

Businesses eligible for the discretionary grant scheme

In line with government guidance, priority will be given to the following types of businesses:

Category 1 - Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.

Category 2 - Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.

Category 3 - Bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates.

Category 4 - Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief.

Cheltenham Borough Council has determined a local priority and further awards from the fund will be made to: 

Category 5 - Local independent priority businesses in the hospitality sector such as bars, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, public houses and boutique hotels which are eligible for the expanded retail discount and have a rateable value of £51,000 or greater but below £105,001. Businesses that are part of national chains or franchises will receive no help from the fund.

In all cases the business must meet the eligibility criteria stated in sections 3 and 4 of the policy.

Please read this policy in full to see if you fulfil the criteria before submitting an application.

Grants available

The council has decided that, for the purpose of this grant scheme, there will be three levels of grant available which are all subject to demand. It is anticipated that micro-businesses and those small businesses which are crucial to the local economy will benefit the most from the discretionary fund at level 2.

Level 1 - Grants up to a maximum of £5,000 for market traders and bed and breakfast accommodation.

Level 2 - Grants up to a maximum of £10,000 for charities and for small and micro businesses in shared office space.

Level 3 - Grants up to a maximum of £25,000 for priority local businesses who meet the full criteria set out in the policy.  

You will need the following information and evidence available prior to completing the on line form as this will need to be uploaded. The council will refuse an application if the supporting evidence is not uploaded immediately. 

  • your business address and postcode
  • your VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • your charity number (if applicable)
  • your company number (if applicable)
  • your fixed, ongoing business costs and proof of these
  • proof of the loss of income your business has suffered as a result of COVID-19
  • the number of staff the business employs
  • your landlord or agent's details (if applicable)
  • other specific evidence dependent on the type of business you operate
  • your bank details and a copy of a recent bank statement for the bank account you would like the payment to be made to (this can be a photograph or screenshot, if a digital copy is not available)

If you have any questions about the on line application process please telephone the business rates helpline on 01242 264255 or email businessrates@cheltenham.gov.uk

Applications, together with all supporting evidence, must be submitted by midnight on Sunday 21 June 2020.