Discretionary Grant Fund - phase two

Please note: applications for grants under phase two are now closed. 

The Government's Discretionary Grant Scheme aims to support small and micro businesses that require support due to the COVID-19 shutdown, and who have been unable to access other grant funds such as Small Business grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant

Following our first phase of Discretionary Grant funding, this second phase of the discretionary grant fund is targeted at businesses that have, to date, been unable to access other COVID-19 related support. 

Whilst funds exist, qualifying businesses will receive fixed grants of £5,000. In order to ensure that payments can be made to businesses as quickly as possible, we will be seeking to process applications on a 'first come, first served' basis. 

We recommend businesses read our guidance in full: Icon for pdf Discretionary Grant (phase two) applicant guidance [758.74KB].

Discretionary Grant Fund eligibility criteria

There are only five criteria that must be satisfied before a business can submit a grant application. These are mandatory requirements that must all be met before support can be considered. Only small and medium sized businesses can apply for the fund and are required to check they meet the eligibility criteria before applying. The criteria for discretionary grant funding is as follows:

  • Businesses must be based in the South Holland district (Limited companies incorporated or trading predominantly in South Holland, Self Employed individuals residing in the district)
  • Businesses must prove that they were trading on 11 March 2020
  • Businesses must not be insolvent or in administration
  • Businesses must have a business bank account and provide a bank statement which covers the period of 11 March 2020
  • Businesses must not have accessed any other central government COVID-19 related grants. Such grant schemes include, but are not limited to:
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    • South Holland District Council's initial Discretionary Grant
    • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund.

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme are eligible to apply.

Before applying for the Discretionary Grant Fund

Eligible businesses are advised to gather the following information in advance of completing the online application.

Businesses will be asked to confirm their eligibility by addressing all of the mandatory criteria noted above. Failure to meet any one of the eligibility requirements will prevent the business progressing to the full application stage. Applicants will be asked to:

  • describe how the COVID lockdown has affected their business, outlining the impact that the virus has had on income/sales
  • confirm that they have not received any other central government COVID related grant funding, including Self Employed Income Support
  • submit their business bank statement which covers the period of 11 March 2020. This provides the Council with two vital pieces of information:
    • sort codes and account numbers for authorised payments, and
    • proof that the business was in fact trading on the 11 March 2020.

Businesses that do not have business bank accounts will not be eligible to apply.

The evidence requirements set out above are the minimum requirements and the Council reserves the right to request additional information if it feels it is appropriate to complete its assessment.

Due to expected interest in the discretionary grant funding scheme, we are unable to provide support to businesses in completing the application process. However, businesses can email questions about the scheme to the council via economicdevelopment@sholland.gov.uk.

Apply for a discretionary grant

Applications for grants under phase two are now closed. View our press release for more information.

Application assessment and decision

The Council will consider grant applications on a first come, first served basis. Applications will be assessed and paid to eligible businesses who:

  • apply for the grant using the online discretionary grant fund application, and
  • also provide sufficient supporting evidence as part of their application. 

All applicants will be informed of our decision in writing or by email. 

Unfortunately, applications that do not include appropriate financial information or evidence will not be considered. 

When this scheme reaches a point where all funds are committed, we will close the scheme for applications. Any further re-opening of the scheme will be publicised in advance. All decisions will be taken at our discretion and are not subject to a request for a review and/or second consideration. Our complaints procedure will be followed for any complaint received about this scheme.

Discretionary Grant Fund FAQs

We have gathered the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme (phase two):

  1. Can a business receive more than one grant under this scheme? (for example, if based across multiple properties)
    No, businesses can only receive one discretionary grant.
  2. A business needs to be based in South Holland to be eligible. What is the definition of 'based'?
    The business needs to either be incorporated or resident within the district to be eligible for support.
  3. Is there scope to provide grants to businesses without premises costs?
    Yes, unlike previous schemes South Holland District Council will consider businesses with no fixed on-going property related costs.
  4. If a newly formed business was considering starting prior to 11 March 2020 but never got round to opening/trading would it be eligible for this fund?
    The mandatory criteria requires that a business was trading as of 11 March 2020. Grant payments can only be paid to firms that meet the mandatory requirements.
  5. Are businesses that have accessed loan or deferral schemes (for example, Deferral of VAT, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) eligible for grants under this scheme?
    Yes, it is only where businesses have received COVID-19 related grant funding from Government that they are ineligible for support under this scheme. Businesses receiving Job retention support for furloughed workers are eligible to apply but those receiving Self Employed Income Support are ineligible.
  6. Where an owner has two limited businesses can they apply for a discretionary grant for both businesses?
    Yes, as separate Limited companies they potentially both could be eligible.
  7. Are self-catering properties eligible to apply?
    Yes, if they meet the five mandatory criteria.
  8. Will the discretionary grant be subject to tax?
    National guidance states that Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore funding paid under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
  9. How is the Council minimising false claims and fraud?
    Neither the Council, nor the Government will accept deliberate manipulation of the scheme and fraud. Any applicant caught falsifying information to gain additional grant money or failing to declare entitlement to any of the specified grants will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered from them. Applicants should note that, where a grant is paid by the Council, details of each individual grant may be passed to Government. The Council reserves the right to reclaim any grant paid in error.
  10. The mandatory criteria states that businesses must be trading on the 11 March 2020 to be eligible for a Discretionary Grant. How are we defining 'trading'?
    Businesses must be able to evidence they were income generating by the 11 March 2020. Preparing to open will not be classified as 'trading'. Bank statements will be requested to prove the business was income generating by the 11 March 2020. The Council will require proof that the business was trading on 11 March 2020 and was not dormant, subject to a winding up order, in administration or subject to striking off.
  11. Are Discretionary Grants subject to State Aid?
    Any Discretionary Grant is given as aid under the Temporary Framework for State Aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak published on 19 March 2020. This means that businesses receiving support under these provisions can receive up to €800,000 in aid over three years (being the current and the previous two years).

    Any grant awarded is required to comply with the EU law on State Aid. This will involve the applicant declaring to the Council if they have received any other de minimis State aid or aid provided under the EU Commission COVID-19 Temporary Framework.

    If the applicant has not received any other de minimis State aid, they are not required to make that declaration to the Council or to complete any declaration statement.
  12. Is there an appeals process if business disagree with the Council's ruling?
    The final decision as to whether to pay a grant will be made by the council. All decisions will be taken at discretion of the council and are non-contestable. The Council's complaints procedure will be applied in the event of any complaint received about this scheme.