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Apply for Covid 19 business grants

Discretionary top-up business grants

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. 

You must apply to us with information about your business and evidence relating to the eligibility criteria. Please ensure you understand and meet the eligibility criteria below before you submit your application.

Phase 1

In the first phase of the discretionary grant three groups of businesses are eligible.

  1. 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. 
  2. Retail outlets that aren't separately rated, in Romford Shopping Hall, and concessions in Romford's three malls.
  3. 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.

The first phase of the discretionary grant will close at 4pm on 24 July 2020.

Phase 2

We have opened a second phase of the discretionary grant with businesses able to apply from 10am on Monday 20 July 2020.

The second phase is open to businesses that fall within either of the following categories:

  • Childminders, who will be paid a grant of £250 or £500 depending on circumstances. Please note that childminders do not need to apply for the grant using the application form below because we will contact you directly.
  • Any microbusiness based within the borough - businesses could receive a £5,000 grant, providing they meet the eligibility criteria set out below.

To be eligible, you must be a microbusinesses and must have a property cost, which could include a fixed premises or mobile asset, such as mobile dog groomers.

You must also be able to demonstrate a significant loss of income from the last quarter, due to the Covid 19 lockdown.

How we will allocate the grants

Please be aware that the funds we have received from the Government are very limited and we will not be able to help everybody who applies.

In order to make sure the money goes to those most in need, we will be allocating grants to eligible businesses that have shown the greatest loss due to the lockdown. This means that not every eligible business is guaranteed to receive a grant.

A ‘significant loss’ is defined as anything more than a 20 per cent loss of earnings over the last quarter, however businesses with higher losses will be allocated grants first.

We will continue to pay grants to eligible applicants working down the list until all of the available funds have been allocated.

We are expecting a high volume of applications, and are asking each applicant to help ensure the process runs smoothly by calculating their own losses and uploading them to the system along with any supporting information.

Applications that are awarded a grant will be subject to anti-fraud checks and verification of losses.

If you have already received a business support grant through Havering Council, you will not be eligible for this second phase of the grant. 

Successful businesses will have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts.

Applications will close at 4pm on Friday 31 July 2020.

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 Or HMRC evidence of sole trader status.

To be eligible for the first phase of the grant you will need to submit bank statements for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020. If possible please upload 1 file with bank statements for the full 4 month period. 

To be eligible for the second phase of the grant you will need to submit bank statements for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June for the account you would like the grant to be paid into. 

Xero / Sage / Quickbooks or equivalent Profit and Loss summary from April 2019 to March 2020 (or most recent statement)

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. (Not required for Romford shopping hall or Romford market traders)

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.

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:


Phase 1 grant

Phase 1 grants are open until 4pm on Friday 24 July 2020.

Apply for a phase 1 discretionary top-up business grant

Phase 2 grant

Phase 2 grants are open until 4pm on Friday 31 July 2020.

Apply for a phase 2 discretionary top-up business grant

Childminders do not need to apply for the grant using the application form because we will contact you directly.

All information that is submitted by applicants will be protected under the General Data Protection Regulations.

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

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