Coronavirus Business Support

Support and information for businesses and employers

Second round of discretionary business grants scheme available

A further group of businesses can now apply for funding aimed at helping those whose finances have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. This now includes businesses who are based from a home location and do not have a commercial mortgage in place. For business owners in this position, evidence will still have to be provided in the form of business related expenses, HMRC/VAT registration certification as well as  evidence of loss of earnings. If you can apply please do so as quickly as possible: all applications must be made by Friday 28 August.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council received £1.94 million from Central Government’s Discretionary Business Grants scheme, to enable non-repayable grants to be paid to some businesses which are struggling to survive due to a significant loss of income.

The Government has announced the closure of the business grant schemes by 28 August and that all final grant payments must be paid by 30 September 2020.We still have funds available to enable a wider range of businesses to benefit from this funding. Applications for the second round of funding can be made until Friday 28 August to allow time for the processing of the final grants.

We still have funds available to enable a wider range of businesses to benefit from this funding.

Applications are now invited from businesses with a Rateable Value up to and including £59,999 from any eligible businesses and charities, which now includes businesses that are based from a residential property, excluding those businesses that we are not able to support on this occasion (please see list of exemptions below).The businesses applying must not have received other Government grants, including a Small Business Grant, a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, or a first round discretionary grant.

Businesses are invited to apply which can demonstrate they’ve suffered an income fall due to the pandemic. The level of grant to be paid is £2,500, but could change at the close of the scheme depending on the number of successful applications.

The Grant Application is open to businesses:

  • which can demonstrate that they have suffered a fall in income due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
  • which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £59,999, in the case of those businesses which occupy a commercial office
  • with fewer than 50 employees.
  • that were trading on 11 March 2020.

In order to process your application, you must submit a minimum of four pieces of evidence. This must include:

  • a bank statement which evidences business related costs
  • proof of business property cost, in the case of those businesses which have a property cost
  • proof of your income lost as a result of COVID-19
  • identification

The application period for this scheme closed on 28 August 2020 and therefore no further applications can be considered.

If you have previously made an application under this scheme we will let you know our decision in writing or by email at the earliest opportunity.

Businesses which we are unable to support in this expanded scheme:

Public Sector Buildings

Ambulance Station & Premises, Cemetery & Premises, Fire/Police Station & Premises. Hospital & Premises, Law Court & Premises, Library & Premises, Museum & Premises

Educational Establishments

College and Premises & University & Premises

Sports/Open Spaces

Sports Ground &Premises, Playing Fields & Premises

Assessments in open spaces

Advertising Right & Premises

Car Park & Premises, Car Parking Space &premises

Communication Station & Premises, Fibre Optic Metro Broadband Network

Personal Use Type Properties

Beach Hut & Premises

Stores & Premises, Land used for Storage & Premises

Financial Related

Bank and Premises, & ATM’s

National Businesses 

A group of outlets owned by one company and spread across various locations nationwide or worldwide, with similar appearance and providing similar services or goods across the outlets.


There are two teams who can deal with coronavirus related business queries.

The Economic Development team 

The ED Team can help with general queries and questions related to business but cannt advise on business grant applications. You can contact them by email  or on 01702 215022.

Business Rates

The Business Rates team are processing the Business Grants. Should you need to discuss your ongoing application please either contact tehj team via email or telephone on 01702 215001 to discuss directly with a member of the team.

Please be aware that the information on this page will be changing regularly in line with new announcements. If you would like to receive business updates by email let us know.

Small businesses, as well as companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, have the opportunity to apply for a grant to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. A simple form must be submitted by relevant businesses for the grant which applies to them, to ensure the council meets government requirements. Please see the Business Rates Grants 2020-2021 page for full details.

Update 24/07/2020

If you have a a business which is open to the public, the Southend Business Improvement District (BID) have created a series of poster templates that you can download for free. Please visit Southend BID Business Templates if you think these may be of use. 

Update 6/7/2020

Check if you should go back into work

Use this service to find out if you should go back to work during this phase of coronavirus lockdown and what you can do if you should not be going into work. If you’re currently on furlough you can stay on furlough. However, if you are asked to come off furlough by your employer, you can use this service to find out if you should be going back into work, and how to return to work safely.

Update 15/06/2020

discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses in England previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This grant is an additional fund to the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. It is aimed at certain small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. The scheme is funded by the Government.

To receive a discretionary grant, businesses need to complete a simple online form 

Please check eligibility for application on this page first: What can we do to help your business

If you match the criteria for application, please ensure you fill out the form as soon as possible.

We have now received information about the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, which will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) 

What we can do to help businesses

Information about Small Business Grants, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants, business rates relief, commercial rent collection and BID (Business Improvement District) levy payments.

What Central Government are offering

Information about the various measures available and who is administering them, grants for self-employed workers, statutory sick pay and government backed loans (for businesses of all sizes).

Information about tax and the HMRC

Information about receiving support with tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

Other useful links and awaiting further information

Links to information for charity businesses, government guidance for pubs and restaurants operating as takeaways, early years and childcare closures and other handy pages.

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