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Discretionary top-up business grants
Available from Monday 8 June 2020
The discretionary fund has been issued by the government for local authorities to be able to support some of those businesses that fall outside of the existing assistance available during the Covid 19 crisis.
It will provide certain small businesses with a grant, provided they meet the eligibility criteria set out by Government and us.
Business must apply to the Council with information about their business and evidence relating to the eligibility criteria. Please ensure you understand and meet the eligibility criteria below before you submit your application.
There are three groups of businesses that are eligible.
Micro-businesses who are based in a shared managed workspace or business incubators and pay an all-inclusive rent and therefore do not have a business rates liability.
Retail outlets that aren't separately rated, in Romford Shopping Hall, and concessions in Romford's three malls.
Regular market traders returning to Romford Market.
The first two groups are eligible for a £5000 grant.
Group 3, market traders, will receive a grant equivalent to 6 months’ rent.
All information that is submitted by applicants will be protected under the General Data Protection Regulations.
If all the grant funding is not allocated to the three groups of businesses identified above, then we will amend the eligibility criteria and invite other businesses to apply.
As the funding is likely to have been fully distributed before any appeals can be heard, there will be no appeals process.
The grants will be paid on a first come first-served basis.
Only one grant per business will be paid, regardless of the number of premises.
Companies or sole trader who can demonstrate they have suffered a significant (20 per cent) fall in income due to the Covid 19 crisis.
Micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006.
Companies or sole trader that was trading on the 11 March 2020.
Companies or sole trader who has not been in receipt of government Covid 19 support including the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. The Self-employed Income Support Scheme and the COVID-19 Jobs Retention Fund are permissible.
Companies which agree to engage with monitoring and evaluation activity to measure the impact of the fund.
Business certificate of incorporation.
Bank statements for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020 for the account into which you would like any grant to be paid (if possible please upload 1 file with bank statements for the full 4 month period).
Xero / Sage / Quickbooks or equivalent Profit and Loss summary from April 2019 to March 2020.
Xero / Sage / Quickbooks or equivalent Balance Sheet.
A copy of your tenancy or rental agreement, your lease, your coworking membership agreement, trading license or similar.
How long will it take to pay a grant?
We aim to complete due diligence within ten working days and you should allow at least an additional five working days for the banks to process payment.
It is not possible to provide a precise turnaround time for payment as this is dependent on factors such as the backlog of submissions and the complexities of some businesses in relation to the eligibility criteria.
Payments will be made to those who qualify by BACS.
We will also write to you by email, stating the reasons, if your business does not qualify.
Who should I contact if I haven’t heard about my grant?
We expect to receive a high number of enquiries asking for updates and we recognise how vital these grants are to you – however we have limited capacity to respond to update requests, which takes focus away from processing grants.
Unless it has been more than 15 working days since your application, we will not be able to provide you with an update on the status of your application.
If it is more than 15 days since you have applied for a grant, or if you have other queries about the Discretionary Grant, please contact us by email:
Application form (coming soon)
Business Impact Survey
In order for us to gain a greater understanding of the impact the Covid 19 outbreak is having on businesses in the borough, we have launched a Business Impact Survey.
The survey will help us to coordinate our response to the crisis and see how we can best help businesses to stay afloat and recover once this is all over.
Please take some time to fill out the survey and let us know your thoughts.
Go to the survey
Business support grants
To combat the Covid 19 crisis, businesses getting either Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Retail Discount Relief can apply for a government grant depending on which relief they were getting.
You do not have to pay the grant back but it will be subject to tax in the same way as any other income at the applicable marginal rate.
We have various communications being issued to businesses via text message, email and letter reminding you to apply. If you have already applied please ignore the messages.
Please be aware of scams. Businesses should only submit bank details via these forms and there is no charge from us for processing these grants.
It will take a minimum of 7 working days from when you submit the form for the funds to be transferred.
Small business cash grant
If your business premises is currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (eg your premises has a rateable value under £15,000), or Rural Rate Relief, grants of up to £10,000 are being made available.
Apply for a business cash grant Retail, hospitality, leisure grant fund
If you pay business rates on premises with a rateable value between £15,000 - £51,000, grants of up to £25,000 are being made available.
Apply for a retail, hospitality or leisure grant
Reopening your business premises safely
Check for legionella
Water systems within your premises have not been in operation for some time or have been used at lower rates than in usual periods therefore legionella may have had time to grow in stagnant water within the pipework.
Ahead of reopening, you are going to have to do some work to the water system to ensure it is safe to use. The level of work required will be determined by the type of water system in the premises.
Download legionella advice from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Social distancing and hygiene
The government has detailed guidance on how to reduce the risk of coronavirus in the workplace so you can work safely.
Read the guidance from the GOV.UK website Pest control
You must check your premises for pest infestation.
If you find evidence such as droppings or chewing, you must contact a reputable pest control company.
Support with reopening
For more support around reopening please email
The Government has permitted builders and construction companies additional leeway during the pandemic to work hours outside of those previously restricted by condition, or to apply to vary the hours and have their application determined quickly.
The Government has also allowed additional flexibility outside of their usual permitted hours for supermarket and food deliveries.
Usual enforcement action may therefore not be taken in order to help ensure vital food supplies can continue to be delivered throughout the pandemic.
There are no extensions to compliance timeframes for planning enforcement notices or breach of conditions notices.
If you get a notice you should still continue to comply as instructed.
New enforcement notices will continue to be served as appropriate throughout the pandemic in order to protect public amenity and building standards.
Overview of Government business support
The Government has the following national support initiatives.
Bounce Back Loans Scheme
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Corporate Finance Facility
Job Retention Scheme
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
Business Rates holiday for nurseries
HMRC Time to Pay
Deferral of Self-Assessment payment
Support for Businesses Outside of Government
Find coronavirus financial support for your business
Other local support
The London Growth Hub provides information, advice and support, including a specific Covid 19 business support services.
Havering Council has partnered with
Building Legacies to help our businesses receive support in building resilience and considering diversification.
Emergency rate relief and discounts
The Government has announced the following measures to support businesses.
Expanded retail business rates discount 2020/21
All retail/hospitality/leisure businesses in England will receive 100 per cent retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months.
Childcare nursery business rate relief
There will be a Business Rate holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020/21 tax year.
Read business support information from GOV.UK
Use class planning rules
Planning rules have been relaxed so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways.
The measures will apply to hot food and drinks.
Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.
The government will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafe's) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only.
Businesses are required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends.
email@example.com for more details and any enquiries.