In May 2020, Knowsley Council received £739,000 from the Government to fund a Discretionary Business Grants Scheme.  The Council designed the application process to reflect Government guidance, eligibility criteria, and local priority areas.

As anticipated, in some priority areas the amount of funding received has not met the demand from applicants.  The Council received over 200 applications from local companies and enterprises during the first ‘window’.

Following appraisal and payment of the eligible applications we received, we have an unspent grant fund of £173,465.  The Council will therefore open a second ‘window’ for applications from Monday 9am 6 July 2020 to 5pm Friday 10 July 2020.

Voluntary and charity sector organisations are encouraged to apply for grant funding.

Businesses and organisations that were rejected in the first window should not apply in the second window.

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 remaining pooled funding of £270,165 will be shared across THREE separate grant categories, each with different criteria. You can only apply for ONE grant if your business has  received grant funding via the Small Business Grant Scheme of Retail Hospitality Leisure Grant then you do not qualify for this support:-

  • 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.

 

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES FTE
(full time equivalent)
POOLED FUNDING
(new figure)
Up to 2 £2,500
3 – 4 £5,000
5 – 9 £7,500
10 £10,000
10 – 19 £10,000
20 – 49 £10,000

 

The application process
A ‘grant application window’ will open at 9am Monday 6 July 2020, and will close at 5pm on Friday 10 July 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 second ‘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

Click here to Apply for a Business Support Grant through the Knowsley Council website