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Discretionary grants fund

The application process is now closed and we are not accepting any further applications.

Our discretionary grants fund is now open and we are encouraging eligible businesses to apply.

The discretionary grants fund aims to widen access to support for small and micro businesses with fixed property-related costs that are financially struggling due to the Coronavirus lockdown, and are unable to access other grant funding.

The funding has been allocated to us from the Government. We are responsible for distributing the grants to local businesses in accordance with the guidance issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Read the Government's guidance on the discretionary grants fund

Grants available to eligible businesses

We have been awarded £671,750 by the Government and grants under the discretionary grants fund are capped at £25,000.

Grants of up to £25,000 per business

Payments of £25,000 may be made where we judge that businesses would have received a payment of £25,000 had they been eligible under the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme.

For example, the fixed costs are proportionate to a business with a property rateable value of over £15,000 and below £51,000.

Grants of up to £10,000 per business

Payments of £10,000 may be made where we judge that businesses would have received a payment of £10,000 had they been eligible under the small business grants fund or the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme.

For example, the fixed costs are proportionate to a business with a property rateable value up to £15,000.

Other deciding factors

The level of grant awarded may be reduced if applications to the scheme are greater than resources available, and it is considered necessary to enable support to priority businesses. Grants will be based on the fixed property costs incurred by eligible businesses.

We also have the discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. There may be circumstances, such as providing support for micro-businesses with fixed costs, where smaller grants are awarded.

Businesses which are eligible to apply for a grant

This grant funding is designed to help businesses that did not qualify for earlier government funded schemes – the small business grants fund or the retail, hospitality and leisure grants fund

It is intended to support those with fixed property-related costs and which have experienced a significant drop in income due to Coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses eligible* for this grant are:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment.
  • Bed and breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates.
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief.

* Under the Government’s guidance, we may also choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.

Local businesses which transact a high proportion of their business in Woking will be prioritised for support through this scheme.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the grant scheme your business must fall into one of the following categories:

  • small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006
  • businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

Businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020 to be eligible for the scheme.

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus job retention scheme or the self employed income support scheme are eligible to apply for this scheme.

To qualify as a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:

  • Turnover: not more than £10.2 million
  • Balance sheet total: not more than 5.1 million
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50.

To qualify as a micro business, under the Companies Act 2006, a business must satisfy two or more of the following requirements:

  • Turnover: not more than £632,000
  • Balance sheet total: not more than £316,000
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of no more than 10

Businesses which are not eligible to apply for a grant

Businesses are not eligible for the discretionary grant if they have previously received grants such as:

  • Small business grant fund
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure grant
  • Fisheries response fund
  • Domestic seafood supply scheme 
  • Zoos support fund
  • Dairy hardship fund

If your business is eligible for other government funded support but you have chosen not to use that support, you will not be considered for this scheme.

Businesses which are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

About the application process

The application process is now closed. The closing date for online applications was before 11.59pm on Sunday 21 June 2020.

All applications must complete the online application eform, which includes an eligibility and anti-fraud declaration, and requires evidence to be provided to demonstrate the declared amounts.

The application process will include pre-payment checks to confirm eligibility.

All applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria during the week commencing 22 June 2020.

Recommendations will be presented to a grants award panel, comprised of Portfolio Holder and Shadow Portfolio Holders of Finance and Economic Development, for final determination.

Successful applicants will be contacted as soon as a decision is made, and payments will be made once all necessary supporting evidence has been received and verified.

All payments of grant will be made by a BACS transfer to the company or business nominated bank account.

The decision of the grant awards panel will be final. A business can only challenge a grant decision on a point of law through the courts.

More information

View our discretionary grants fund guidance note