Covid-19 – Discretionary Business Support Grant

Alert!

The Discretionary business grant (DBG) Fund has now closed and you will no longer be able to apply for this grant.
 
We are currently reviewing the DBG applications we have received during the first ‘grant application window’ which was from Monday 8 June to Friday 19 June 2020. All applications that were received during this period will be appraised, and we will send an email to update you by 6 July 2020.  
 
To enable us to process the applications as quickly as possible, can we ask that you only contact the Contact Centre on 0151 489 6000 if you have not heard from us by 6 July 2020.

 

In response to the economic impact of Covid-19, the Government has made funding available via grants for eligible businesses within the Small Business Rate Relief threshold, and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Knowsley Council estimates that there is up to £14.78m to distribute to Knowsley businesses that are eligible for this money. Over 95% of this money has already reached Knowsley businesses. Please view this page to check if you are eligible for these grants.

More recently, Government has allocated £739,000 to Knowsley Council to fund a Discretionary Business Grants Scheme. This scheme is for businesses that are not eligible for the grants mentioned above. 
 
To make the grant fund go as far as possible, each application will be evaluated against a set of criteria to ensure that all successful applicants receive a fair amount. For example, smaller businesses with few staff and low property costs will be awarded a smaller grant than larger businesses with more staff and higher property costs. The vast majority of successful applicants will receive between £1,000 and £10,000. 
 
The amount of funding available is not expected to match the demand from businesses, in which case not all applicants will be successful.
 
Before considering making an application for the Discretionary Business Grant Scheme please make sure that your business is eligible. We have created a simple pass/fail flowchart that shows whether an application is worthwhile. 

Who can apply?

In order for a business to qualify for a grant, it must provide evidence of meeting the following criteria:

Under the Companies Act 2006, a small 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 staff headcount of less than 50.
 
Under the Companies Act 2006, a micro 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 staff headcount of not more than 10.

The applicant must:-

  • occupy commercial property, or part of a commercial property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000, or is an ‘anchor business’ with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • provide evidence of a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis
  • include evidence that they have fewer than 50 employees across all its group businesses
  • include evidence that they were trading on 11 March 2020
  • confirm that they are not eligible for the Grants for Small Business Rate Relief and Retail Discount Recipients
  • confirm that they are not in administration or insolvency

How is the funding allocated?

The funding of £739,000 is split into FIVE separate grant categories, each with different criteria. You can only apply for ONE grant:-

  • Shared / All Inclusive Space / Market Trader Grant - a business that does not pay business rates but has more than six months ongoing fixed property costs of less than £51,000 per annum as evidenced by a mortgage, lease or rental agreement. This category could include businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces for example units in industrial parks, business parks and incubators that do not have their own business rates assessment. Market Traders must be registered at Kirkby Market, have fixed building costs such as rent, and must not have their own business rates assessments. Grants to Market Traders will be prorated to reflect the number of days per week trade ie. Six days = 100%, three days = 50% etc. TOTAL FUNDING ALLOCATION £275,000
  • Small Business Grant -  an eligible business has an ongoing (more than six months) property cost as evidenced by a mortgage, lease or rental agreement, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 pa, and predominantly and directly supplies the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and employs between 1 to 49 people. TOTAL FUNDING ALLOCATION £250,000
  • Anchor Business Grant - an eligible business has an ongoing (more than six months) property cost as evidenced by a mortgage, lease or rental agreement, with a rateable value in excess of £51,000 pa and employs between 10 and 49 people. TOTAL FUNDING ALLOCATION £60,000.
  • Bed and Breakfast Support Grant - for a bed and breakfast that pays Council Tax, not business rates, and has more than six months ongoing fixed property cost as evidenced by a mortgage, lease or rental agreement. Grant award £1,000 per business. TOTAL FUNDING ALLOCATION £4,000.
  • Voluntary Sector Support Grant - a business that has charitable business rates relief on premises with a rateable value of under £51,000 and has more than six months ongoing fixed property cost as evidenced by a mortgage, lease or rental agreement. Schools are excluded from this grant. TOTAL FUNDING ALLOCATION £150,000.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES FTE
(full time equivalent)
Shared /
All-inclusive Space/  Market Trader Grant
(£275,000)
Small Business Grant
(£250,000)
Anchor Business
 
(£60,000)
Bed & Breakfast Support Grant
(£4,000)
Voluntary Sector Support Grant
(£150,000)
Up to 2 £2,500 £2,500 -   £2,500
3 - 4 £5,000 £5,000 -   £5,000
5 - 9 £7,500 £7,500 -   £7,500
10 £10,000 £10,000 -   £10,000
10 - 19 £10,000 £10,000 £10,000   £10,000
20 - 49 £10,000 £10,000 £25,000   £10,000

The application process

A ‘grant application window’ will open on Monday 8 June 2020, and will close at 5pm on Friday 19 June 2020

During this period, the Council will accept fully completed online forms, which must include the required evidence to support each application. Should there be sufficient funds after the first ‘window’, a further ‘window’ may be opened (but this is not guaranteed).
 
A list of the required evidence is shown on the checklist below. You will need to gather this documentation before completing the application form. Applications will only be processed if fully completed and accompanied by all the supporting evidence requested. Forms submitted without all the required supporting evidence will not be accepted. If the lease/licence agreement shows less than 100% occupancy/trading from the premises/site per week/month, then grants will be pro-rated.

Checklist

 
Information Evidence Comment
Payment details Copy of bank statement, clearly showing bank account name, business address, sort code and account number, and a utility bill clearly showing your business address These details must match the name of the business or individual listed on the business rates bill or lease / mortgage agreement
Evidence of ongoing rental or mortgage costs or other fixed property related costs You will need to provide a copy of your current lease agreement or mortgage agreement This must clearly show the financial contribution you are required to make as part of the agreement
Evidence that you are a small or micro business This will be done by way of self-declaration on the online application form Please see definitions above in Who can apply?
Evidence of a significant fall in income due to COVID-19 You MUST submit evidence that includes:
  • The turnover of your business, for the current Financial Year and the previous two years (the Turnover figure in each of those years, must not exceed £10.2M), AND
  • The Balance Sheet total for your business, for the current Financial Year and the previous two years (the Balance Sheet totals in each of those years, must not exceed £5.1M)
Other evidence can include temporary physical business closure, loss of regular business income, comparative bank statements or turnover such as for April 2019 and April 2020; management accounts, proof of loss of contracts/bookings/demand for services; proof of loss of ongoing income
Examples of proof in support of this point include, but are not limited to documentation from your Bank, Accountant or Financial Adviser
 
Where a company was not trading in April 2019, we will accept another month’s turnover
 
It is at the discretion of the applicant what form this evidence takes but it must clearly show the turnover of the business for these periods
Evidence of trading on 11 March 2020 Where you have a business rates account this will be sufficient, as the date liable will be used. For businesses that are not rated you will need to provide evidence This could be in the form of stock orders (pre dating 11 March 2020), two sales invoices, lease agreements etc
Evidence of eligibility under State aid rules This will be done by way of self-declaration on the online application form If you are unsure whether State aid applies to your business, you will need to seek independent legal advice
Evidence of the number of staff you employ This will be done by using a declaration on the online application form We will need evidence from you to confirm all employees who have worked for your business over the last 12 months