Local council discretionary grants

Published: Tuesday 2 June 2020

In addition to the grants for businesses paying small business rates and for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry, the Government has provided further funds to local councils for them to make discretionary grants to small business affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Typically the grants will be up to £10,000, but could be as much as £25,000. Importantly those who have received a payment under the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) are eligible for this grant as well.

It will be necessary to check the application details with your local council but it would appear that the timeframe for applications is limited and prompt action will be needed. The application process is likely to vary between councils but these two have specified that they will need evidence of ongoing business property costs and reduced turnover. 

Further details about the grants are set out below.

The funds are intended to prioritise the following types of businesses, but the list is not exhaustive

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, who 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 and Breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief

Councils are also able to apply local discretion to include 'Businesses that supply goods or services to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses'.


You can apply for a discretionary grant from your local council if your business:

  • has suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis;
  • has relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs;
  • is not eligible for any other support schemes. This excludes the job retention scheme (furlough) and the self employed income support Scheme.

Businesses will not be eligible if they:

  • were not trading on 11 March 2020;
  • are in administration, insolvent or had a striking-off notice issued;
  • have business property costs, for example, rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage costs, above £51,000;
  • are eligible for other covid-19 related grants, for example, Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants;
  • would be taken over the state aid limit by the grant.

Please get in touch if you would like help making an application