Discretionary COVID-19 business grants


In June the council was awarded just over £700,000 to provide discretionary grants to local businesses that were not eligible for the original COVID-19 business grant scheme.

The first round of applications for these discretionary grants took place in June and July, and the Council distributed nearly £400,000 to eligible businesses.

This means the Council now has just over £300,000 to award to eligible businesses that did not apply in the first round or did not receive an original COVID-19 business grant.

Because the funding pot is limited, applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis, and when the funding is all allocated, no further applications will be processed, even if a business could have been eligible.

Apply now: don't delay

To be in with the chance of receiving a grant, it is important you apply as soon as you can, and ensure you upload all the information required (as stated in the online form).

Partial or incomplete applications will not be considered, and the Council will not chase for supporting evidence. If you do not upload all the evidence required, your claim will not be considered valid and will not be processed.

If you can’t upload evidence online, please submit the form as soon as you can and then drop the evidence off at the council buildings (via the post box) at Civic Offices, Civic Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE11 0AH.  

Businesses should quote their application reference on the envelope and mark it for the attention of the business grants team, so it can be matched up to their case. We also recommend businesses do not supply original documents as we cannot guarantee we will be able to return them.

We recommend you deliver any evidence the same day as you submit your application online, otherwise your application will not be considered valid until all the necessary evidence is received and other complete applications will be considered ahead of yours. 

Please note: If the form is not available when you visit the website, this is because we will have received enough applications.

If you have any problems filling in the online form, please email
business.grants@southderbyshire.gov.uk or contact our customer services team on 01283 595795.

What evidence do I need to supply?

You will need to supply the following evidence as part of your application. Your application will not be considered valid until all the necessary evidence has been received:

  • A scanned image/photo of personal ID that includes a photograph (such as a passport or driver’s licence)
  • A scanned image/photo of your business bank statements from January to June 2020 to demonstrate that your business was operational and has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 shut-down
  • Your bank account number and sort code showing on your bank statement
  • Your accounts, payroll and turnover figures showing the impact of COVID-19 on your turnover
  • Information on your cancelled bookings (if applicable)
  • What percentage of income your business represents
  • Your charity number, Companies House number, HMRC tax number (where applicable)
  • Your premises costs and a copy of your lease (if applicable)
  • Details about your landlord (if applicable)
  • Your business rates or council tax reference number (if appropriate)

New businesses supported

The Council has extended the categories of businesses that can now apply/may be eligible to include the following:

  • Self-employed individuals that were not eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support (SEIS) scheme, including home workers/home offices without business premises costs.
  • Independent children’s nurseries that have not benefited from small business rate relief and with a rateable value of below £51,000.
  • Catteries and kennels that have not benefitted from small business rate relief and with a rateable value of below £51,000
  • Businesses that pay business rates indirectly within their rent/service charge – this can include hairdressers, beauticians or shared workshop or office spaces (those who have benefitted from the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support (SEIS) scheme can apply). 
  • Bed and breakfasts/self-catering units that pay council tax instead of business rates.
  • Market traders who trade regularly and have fixed premises/pitch costs and market traders who have traded on the majority of Swadlincote markets during the period 28 June 2019 – 11 March 2020.
  • Occasional market traders attending events, festivals and fayres are not eligible.
  • Charities that are awarded mandatory charity rate relief, but would receive small business rate relief if they did not receive mandatory charity rate relief (i.e. they have a premises with a rateable value of £14,999 or less).

If your business pays/is liable for business rates, find out about the COVID-19 non-discretionary grant scheme

To read the our updated policy guidance and apply online please visit: www.southderbyshire.gov.uk/discretionarybusinessgrants

Remember to apply straightaway

Whilst there is no application deadline, as soon as we near the amount of money we have available to give out in grants, the form will be taken off line and no more applications will be accepted.

If the form is not available when you visit the website, this is because we will have received enough applications.

If after processing the applications we have received, further funding is still available, we may open up applications again, until the funding pot has been fully distributed.

The council will not be held responsible if an eligible business does not apply in time/is not awarded a grant due to volumes of applications received. 

What about home-based workers?

Home based workers can now apply for the discretionary grant, provided they are not eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEIS). This is so we can target help at those home based businesses who have benefitted from no financial aid throughout the pandemic.

To read the full eligibility criteria and find out more about a potential second round of funding, please download our Discretionary Grant Policy.

Are businesses that were too large to apply for an original COVID-19 grant eligible to apply?

We are sorry but businesses that pay business rates but were ineligible to claim a grant under the original COVID-19 business grant scheme (for example they were not retail and not eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief) are not eligible to apply for a discretionary grant at the current time.

To read the full eligibility criteria and find out more about a potential second round of funding, please download our Discretionary Grant Policy.

Will I definitely get a grant if my business is eligible?

The discretionary grant funding pot is limited. There is no guarantee that all applicants will receive funding, even if they are eligible and have suffered losses due to COVID-19.

What type of grant level will I get?

The Council can award grants of £25,000, £10,000 and any amount under £10,000. It has complete discretion over the grant sums it awards below £10,000.

Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances. As such, it is expected that the vast majority of grant awards will be below the £10,000 grant level. Some grants will be significantly below this figure, and it is envisaged grants could range from £1,500 upwards.

Whilst the application process asks questions about the losses a business has experienced as a result of COVID-19, it is unlikely (and there is no guarantee) that the grant level awarded will cover the losses businesses have experienced, but will be a contribution towards those losses only.

The exact amount a business will receive will also depend on the number of applications the Council receives. It will also depend on whether individuals have other sources of income – for example second businesses or second jobs. This is so we can direct funds to those businesses and individuals who need the most support.

There is no appeal process for businesses/charities in relation to the grant amount they are awarded.

Do I need to pay the grant back?

The grants do not need to be paid back and are designed to help businesses cope with the impact of COVID-19.

How long will the grants take to process?

We hope to be able to process all applications and notify applicants of the outcome within three weeks of submission of a completed form and evidence.

This is to allow the required level of due diligence and anti-fraud checks to take place.

Please be aware that we will not be able to provide updates on the progress of your claim during processing.

More information

To find out more about how the applications will be assessed, about the appeals process and more, please download our Discretionary Grant Policy. (pdf, 781kb)