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Coronavirus: Discretionary Grants Fund Scheme

The Discretionary Grants Fund Scheme is a funding scheme for small businesses with high fixed property-related costs who are not eligible for the other Government funding schemes available to help businesses affected by coronavirus.

This is the last chance for small businesses with high fixed property-related costs who are not eligible for the other Government funded grant schemes and have had their income severely impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to apply. Local charities may also be eligible for a discretionary grant, if they meet the scheme criteria.

The scheme has now closed. The following support is still available to businesses from Horsham District Council:

  • a 12 month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England.  If you wish to apply for this relief, please contact us by email at

How much will the grant be?

Grants are expected to be between £2,000 and £10,000. Horsham District Council will be restricting grants to this level in order to help as many businesses as possible. Situations of exceptional hardship will however be considered.

Funding paid under this funding scheme will be subject to tax. Guidance clarifies that only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Check your eligibility

In accordance with Government guidelines, the following businesses are eligible to apply:

  • Businesses with ongoing fixed building-related costs
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the coronavirus crisis
  • Small Businesses as defined by the Company Act 2006
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
  • Businesses that were trading on 11 March 2020.

Small businesses 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 headcount of staff of less than 50

Businesses that have applied for the Furlough Scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) or the Self Employment Income Support Scheme are still eligible to apply to this scheme.

Businesses that are not eligible

Businesses which have received cash grants from any other central Government scheme are not eligible for the Discretionary Grants Fund Scheme.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • The Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS).
  • The Zoos Support Fund
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund

Other businesses that are not eligible are:

  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • Businesses that were not trading on 11 March 2020
  • Businesses that occupy a property with a rateable value of more than £51,000
  • Businesses who have received a grant under the LADG scheme from another local authority
  • Businesses operating as Bed and Breakfast that are not registered as a food business with the Council
  • Airbnb properties that do not serve breakfast and not registered with the Council as a food business are specifically excluded from this scheme

Priority businesses

In accordance with Government guidelines, the following types of businesses will be prioritised for grants:

  • 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 in Horsham District, such as rent) who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed and Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Subject to expenditure on the priority businesses, the following secondary group will be considered:

  • Businesses who missed out on the original grant scheme through a legitimate issue with their VOA status on 11 March
  • Leisure, retail and hospitality businesses and those in the supply chain not eligible in other schemes
  • Cultural and creative businesses not eligible in other schemes

What you need to apply

Businesses will need to provide evidence of the financial impact and demonstrate fixed building-related costs.

Evidence to demonstrate the financial impact of Covid-19 on their business:

  • 4 months of bank statements (January - April 2020)
  • Profit and loss account, balance sheet and cash flow statement
  • Evidence of payroll (if applicable)
  • Statement of accounts (if applicable)
  • Management accounts (if applicable)
  • Statement from your accountant (if applicable)
  • Order books and evidence of cancellations (if applicable)

Evidence to demonstrate fixed building-related costs:

  • Rental, lease or mortgage statement
  • Utility bills
  • Insurance certificate
  • Any evidence to support your other fixed building-related costs

After you apply

If a business is a Limited Company, Charity or Limited Liability Partnership, a Government “Spotlight” check will be carried out to verify with Companies House that they have properly filed their Accounts, that their Confirmation Statement is up to date and that there are no outstanding Winding Up Orders or First Gazette Notices.

Payments are expected to commence from the week beginning Monday 22 June 2020.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.

Horsham District Council provides its Business Rates services in partnership with Milton Keynes and Northampton Borough Councils. If you have any queries regarding this scheme please email

So far £990,000 has been paid to 121 businesses through the scheme and some £278,000 is still available.