Financial support to help businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Financial assistance from Government is being made available to small businesses and those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
If you are eligible for financial help from Government, you can apply for it from this page. 

Applications can only be made online – please do not call us to make an application as we will be unable to process it.

Apply for a Discretionary Business Support Grant

What help is available? 

Grants are available for small businesses and those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors subject to certain qualifying criteria, set out below:

Grants for Small Business Rate Relief and Retail Discount Recipients

Further guidance has now been received from the Government regarding business grants available to those entitled to be awarded Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) including any tapered relief and/or Retail Discount on their NDR account at Wednesday 11 March 2020.

Small Business Grants Fund

For small businesses that are in receipt of SBRR, a one-off grant of £10,000 will be provided to eligible businesses, in order to help meet their ongoing business costs. Properties that are occupied for personal use (eg private stables, car parking spaces and personal storage) will not qualify.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

A grant of £10,000 will also be available to eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses where the rateable value is £15,000 or below but who do not qualify for SBRR or the associated grant.

Eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 are able to apply for a grant of £25,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for any grant.

Properties that will be eligible for the relief must (in normal times) be open to the general public and also be wholly or mainly used for retail, hospitality and leisure purposes.

Properties that have recently closed due to Government guidance on Covid-19 should be entitled to claim. Some examples of the qualifying purposes are detailed below:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, hair and beauty salons, funeral directors, cinemas, live music venues.
  • Assembly and leisure eg gyms, nightclubs, sport and leisure facilities. 
  • Hotels, self-catering accommodation, guest and boarding premises.

Please note: The lists above is not intended to be exhaustive, only to offer a guide for those businesses that are likely to be included. The final decision on any award where eligibility is disputed will rest with Knowsley Council.

To help businesses, Government has produced a series of FAQs about the scheme.

Qualification criteria

To qualify for these grants, the ratepayer should have been registered for non-domestic rates on Wednesday 11 March 2020. An online application and declaration will need to be completed and the business bank or building society account details provided, along with a copy of recent statement from the account into which the grant is to be paid. These grants are subject to State Aid regulation (further information is provided later)

Application process

You do not need to employ a third party to apply for the grants and any application should only take a few minutes. You will need your NDR (Business Rates) account number to complete the form. You will find this information on your most recent business rates bill. If you are unsure of your rateable value, you will also find this on your recent bill, as shown in the image below.

Other associated information about the business and property will also need to be provided. If you have multiple properties, you will need to complete a separate grant application for each one of these properties, quoting the relevant NDR account number for each property. 

If you don't have your NDR account number and you can’t get access to your business premises to retrieve it, this is likely to significantly delay the payment of the grant. If this is the case, the ratepayer should then email the council's NDR Team at: with full contact details. 

The NDR Team will then make further enquiries to assist the ratepayer in obtaining the account number. It would be appreciated if you could please quote ‘GRANT RELIEF’ in the subject title of your email.

Business Grants in response to COVID-19

The intention of the grant is to assist with business continuity and is not a rates reduction. Guidance provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry advises that these business grants will not apply if the company is in liquidation or administration. Any grant awarded must comply with EU law on State Aid on the basis that, including this award, the total De Minimis award shall not exceed €800,000 within the current financial year or the previous two financial years. The De Minimis regulations can be found on the Eur-Lex website.

By continuing with your application, you are confirming that you are not exceeding State Aid limits.

Knowsley Council will not accept deliberate manipulation of the process or any associated fraud. Any business or their representative caught falsifying their records to gain any grant will face prosecution and any funding will be subject to clawback.

You must ensure that you meet all of the criteria for the grant before continuing with this application.

Please remember to upload a copy of a recent statement from the account into which the grant is to be paid. Without this, we may not be able to process your application.

Apply for a Coronavirus COVID-19 business grant

How and when will payments be made? 

If you are eligible for one of the grants above, payments will be made in full by BACS transfer. This will happen as soon as possible.

Retail Discount (Expanded Scheme) 

The Government has announced that from 1 April 2020, Retail Discount will be increased from one third to 100%. This discount has also been extended to the hospitality and leisure sector (properties used as gyms, theatres, hotels and museums etc) and also children’s nurseries. The discount can be awarded to occupied properties that are wholly or mainly used for retail, hospitality and leisure or as a children’s nursery.

Properties that have recently closed temporarily due to Government guidance on COVID19 should still be entitled to the discount. If you are already in receipt of the Retail Discount, you do not need to pay the instalments listed on the annual 2020/21 NDR demand notice, which was issued on 9 March 2020. Knowsley Council will be updating your account in the next few weeks and issuing an updated notice, in order to reflect the recently announced changes. The NDR Team has been making further enquiries regarding children’s nurseries, hospitality and leisure properties and will determine entitlement shortly.