Eligible local businesses who did not qualify for a small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grant are being encouraged to apply for a discretionary grant payment to support them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The discretionary grants are aimed at small and micro businesses:
- with relatively high ongoing fixed proper-related costs
- which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant 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 £51,000
- with fewer than 50 employees
- that were trading on 11 March 2020
The Council has been allocated £1,941,750 to fund these support grants and have worked with business leaders, local groups and support organisations to develop a policy within the guidelines provided by the Government. The council are keen to ensure that they are given to the maximum number of businesses but also needs to make sure not to exceed the government funding allocation.
To receive a discretionary grant, businesses need to complete a simple online form on our website.
Please do not apply for this grant if you have already received one of the other grants. The only exception to this are businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), who are able to apply for this scheme as well.
The council is asking all eligible businesses to apply within a two week window. If you match the criteria for application, please ensure you fill out the form as soon as possible, and ideally by Monday 29 June 2020.
Applicants will be given priority if they are a:
- small business in a shared office or other flexible workspace – for example, a unit in an industrial park, a science park or an incubator that does not have its own business rates assessment
- regular market trader with fixed building costs, such as rent, but without a business rates assessment
- bed and breakfast that pays council tax instead of business rates
- charity in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief, that would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief
- an Ofsted registered Pre-school nurseries with fixed property costs, such as rent, who do not their own business rates assessment;
- a business that occupies Industrial/Warehouse units (as determined by the VOA on the pro description) with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 who are not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant
- an independent care home
Councillor Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, leisure and culture, says: “Since the discretionary business grant scheme was announced and further guidance received in May, we have been working in partnership with colleagues from the Southend Business Partnership, as well as other local businesses to inform this policy. This work has ensured that we can support additional local sectors including care homes, pre-school nurseries and industrial warehouses as well as the four groups prioritised by central Government.
“Please look at the criteria for application carefully and if you think your company is eligible, complete the online form by Monday 29th June. As a reminder, this is not for companies which have already received a business grant or money from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.”
As at 15 June 2020, the Council have paid out over £36.2 million to 2,972 local businesses in the form of business grants.
For further information about support available to businesses during COVID-19 pandemic, please see our Business pages.