Local Discretionary Grant Scheme for Small Businesses

Details of Local Discretionary Grant Scheme for Small Businesses has now been published by Cornwall Council link to info & application forms

Here is a summary of eligibility to apply. Sadly, despite all the hype that councils know their local needs best, the limited size of the pot means it is unlikely to go beyond what the Government has defined as being the priority.

The aim of the discretionary fund is to support small and micro businesses within Cornwall that have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, haven’t already received financial assistance through other government schemes and that continue to have high fixed term costs related to property (such as rent or mortgage payments) but below the set threshold of £51,000.
Please note that you will not be eligible for the discretionary grant scheme if your business:

 Is eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID related scheme,
including if you are eligible for grants from:
o Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – ON 22 MAY, GOVERNMENT DID A U-TURN ON THIS – this no longer makes you ineligible so APPLY NOW 
o Small Business Grant Fund
o Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
o The Fisheries Response Fund
o Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).
o The Zoos Support Fund
o The Dairy Hardship Fund.

 Started trading after the 11 March 2020
 Is in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are eligible
to apply for this scheme.
Please note that you will only be eligible if you meet the government’s definition of
small and micro businesses – see SECTION 21 and SECTION 22 of the guidance.

Phase 1: (OPEN NOW)
As we have been given a limited amount of funds, we will prioritise the following types of businesses that have been specified in the guidance. Each of these businesses will be eligible to apply for a £10,000 grant:
 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 with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
 Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, where the Bed and Breakfast business is the main income/occupation of the business owner. Grants will not be made available to individuals who occasionally rent out a room/ their property via platforms such AirBnB.;
 Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief i.e. have a rateable value less than £15,000.

 Self-employed even if they have received Self-Employment Income Support –added late on 22 May, by Government but with no additional funds


We are making an explicit policy choice to keep the scheme as simple as possible in order to be able to address the need for this support to be given to businesses as quickly as possible, and we are therefore anticipating that the vast majority of the above businesses will be given a £10,000 grant.
All supported businesses will receive an equal £10K grant amount, unless businesses can demonstrate that;
a) Their property related fixed costs for rent or mortgage payments is above £20,000, or;
b) Play a crucial role for the regional or national economy i.e. essential to the supply chain of critical sectors such Chemicals, Communications, Defence, Emergency Services, Health, Energy, Health, Transport, Water, Food. A maximum pot of £400,000 is ring-fenced for this purpose.

However, it should be noted awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances and this funding is not available to business simply because they are in the above sectors. Applicants will need to demonstrate significant economic and/or community impacts above and beyond the direct impact of their operations.

Applications for a £25,000 grant rather than a standard £10,000 grant will be subject to scrutiny at a grant panel consisting of the Chair of the Council’s COVID-19 Business Cell, Head of Assessment, Billing and Collection, Head of Economy, Skills and Culture and Head of Investment and Growth, or such other persons as necessary. Understandably therefore, the grant may take a little longer to process. There is no guarantee that their application will be successful as the council has limited funds

Phase 2: (opening 29 May)
Following an initial one-week window where the above type of businesses will be prioritised, we will, if there remain any funds left, open up support for other types of small and micro businesses that similarly have not yet been able to access support, have been impacted negatively by COVID19 and continue to have high fixed costs. Here the grant amount will depend on the level of fixed costs incurred and the budget available to the council. Up to £10,000 will be available per business.

We are encouraging everyone who believes they would be eligible in phase 2 to fill in
an expression of interests [form yet to be provided] to allow the Council to better understand the full extent of the demand.

To apply or express interest, use the link to the Cornwall Council website, under the rainbow