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Register for a discretionary fund

The discretionary fund is for charities and small or micro businesses who were not previously eligible for the business grant scheme set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WarningThe fund is now closed and not accepting any more applications.

What the discretionary fund is for

WarningThis discretionary funding is taxable, but only businesses making an overall profit (once grant income is included) will be subject to tax.

This discretionary fund is to support the following:

  • Charities and community organisations who receive mandatory charitable business rates relief that otherwise would have been eligible for small business rates relief, or rural rate relief AND are not eligible under the existing grant schemes
  • Small and micro businesses directly impacted by COVID-19 who also:
    • Have relatively high ongoing fixed building-related costs such as rent, service charges and Council Tax

Prioritised businesses

Under the guidance set by central Government, the following businesses will be prioritised for the discretionary funding:

  • Shared or flexible workspaces - small businesses that have exclusive use of a unit within a shared or flexible workspace, but don't have their own business rates assessment (for example, units in offices, industrial parks, science parks and incubators)
  • Market or Street Traders with a fixed pitch and a street trading licence, or lease agreement if in a covered market
  • Bed & Breakfasts and guest houses - where the business owner lives on site, holds a valid Food Safety registration with the council and is paying Council Tax rather than business rates

As a unitary authority, we (B&NES) have discretion over how we prioritise funding applications, which is likely to be based on local economic need and subject to the availability of funding. Limited discretion is also available to consider a small number of businesses who meet the eligible business criteria (below), but don't fall into the priority categories (above).

Eligible business criteria

If your business meets all of the following criteria, you could be eligible for the discretionary funding:

  • Your business is in Bath and North East Somerset
  • Your business is not entitled to a grant under the original business support grant scheme
  • Your business has ongoing fixed building-related costs (for example, rent, service charges and Council Tax)
  • Your business can demonstrate that it has suffered a significant fall in income (including online activity) due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Your business has 49 or less employees (a person who has received remuneration via your payroll system in the last six months - up to March 11 2020 - and who has a contract of employment)
  • Your business was trading (active in buying or selling goods or services) on 11 March 2020 (this excludes activities undertaken for the purposes of acquiring or setting up a proposed new trade)
  • Your business occupies property, or part of a property, and you were in occupation on or before 11 March 2020

Only one application is permitted per business or charity within the West of England region (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire areas).

If a business, charity or individual has already received a grant from the main scheme, it is not eligible for a grant under the discretionary scheme.

Businesses not eligible for the discretionary fund

You're not eligible for this discretionary fund if any of the following applies to your business:

  • Your business premises are outside of the West of England region (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire areas)
  • Your business is entitled to a grant under the original business support grant scheme
  • Your business is in administration, in liquidation, is insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • Your business is neither liable in its own right for its business premises, or make payment to a landlord under an agreement lasting less than six months
  • Your business has a short term lease or rent agreement (less than six months)
  • Your business has to give minimal notice (less than a month) to terminate your agreements
  • Your business does not have fixed, building or pitch related costs
  • Your business is part of a national chain or franchise
  • Your business is having a detrimental impact on the region, our residents or our communities and there is evidence to support this

Wages cannot be claimed as part of this scheme because these are covered by Government schemes.

Who will receive this funding?

The person, business or organisation who, according to the billing authority’s records, was the taxpayer or ratepayer in respect of the land or building of the business on the 11 March 2020 will receive this funding.

Or, should the land or building of the business not be registered for business rates, the person listed on the lease or tenancy arrangement for the business will receive this funding.

Before you register

WarningAny business found to be giving false eligibility information or seeking to gain additional grants by claiming to more than one council, will be investigated. We will work collaboratively across the region to share intelligence and resources to detect fraud, recover money paid in error, and fraudulent claims will be prosecuted in the courts.

When you register for this fund online, you will need to provide certain information, depending on what type of business you run.

Charities and community organisations

Eligible charities and community organisations can get a grant of £5,000.

When you register for the discretionary fund, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Charity registration number
  • BR number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Claimant contacts
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)
  • Bank statement

B&Bs and guest houses

Eligible Bed & Breakfasts and guest houses (based on the billing authority’s records of the position as at 11 March 2020) can receive a grant to a value equivalent to the 2020/21 Council Tax liability to an annual cap of £2,500.

When you register for the discretionary fund, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Council Tax number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Claimant contacts
  • Statement of loss of earnings (this could include a short statement supported by Income & Expenditure Accounts certified by an Accountant or Financial Advisers, or Business Bank Statement; either three months from February to April and/or corresponding period from 2019)
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)
  • Bank statement
  • Food Hygiene certificate

Market traders

Eligible market or street traders can receive a grant of up to £2,500. Each trader will receive one grant only to a value equivalent to the fixed payment associated with using a pitch or property (as outlined in your agreement or licence).

When you register for the discretionary fund, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Street Trading licence number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Claimant contacts
  • Statement of loss of earnings (this could include a short statement supported by Income & Expenditure Accounts certified by an Accountant or Financial Advisers, or Business Bank Statement; either three months from February to April and/or corresponding period from 2019)
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)
  • Bank statement
  • Street Trading licence
  • Lease agreement

Co working businesses

Eligible co working businesses with shared or flexible workspaces with no more than 10 employees, can get a grant of £2,500.

If you have between 11 and 50 employees, you can get a grant of £5,000.

When you register for the discretionary fund, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Companies House number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Claimant contacts
  • Number of employees (0 to 10, 11 to 50)
  • Statement of loss of earnings (this could include a short statement supported by Income & Expenditure Accounts certified by an Accountant or Financial Advisers, or Business Bank Statement; either three months from February to April and/or corresponding period from 2019)
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)
  • Bank statement
  • Lease agreement

Local discretion

We will take micro-businesses with fixed costs or businesses that are crucial to the local economy into consideration. However, we won't provide grants to a business where there is evidence to support that they are having a detrimental impact on the region, our residents or our community.

Eligible businesses with no more than 10 employees, can get a grant of £2,500.

Eligible businesses with 11 to 50 employees, can get a grant of £5,000.

When you register for the discretionary fund, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Companies House number
  • Name
  • Address
  • Claimant contacts
  • Number of employees (0 to 10, 11 to 50)
  • Statement of loss of earnings (this could include a short statement supported by Income & Expenditure Accounts certified by an Accountant or Financial Advisers, or Business Bank Statement; either three months from February to April and/or corresponding period from 2019)
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)
  • Bank statement
  • Lease agreement

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email our grants team on BusinessGrants_Appeal@BATHNES.GOV.UK and they will respond to you within 24 hours.

You can also check our website Invest in Bath for key updates on other support measures available to businesses, follow us on twitter @InvestinBath or sign up to our monthly newsletter