Open for business discretionary grants

Is my business eligible?

The ‘open for business’ grant scheme is for businesses that can remain open during tiered or national lockdowns, but for whom trade has been severely affected (by at least 20% or more). It is primarily funded thorugh the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

To claim an ‘open for business’ grant, business owners with premises must:

  • Have a business premises based in South Derbyshire, or be actively trading from a property (or space within a shared business space/market stall) with a trading address in South Derbyshire.
  • Not be legally required to close/stop delivering services as a result of Government guidelines.
  • Be able to evidence that their business has suffered a significant loss (20% or more) in takings since the November 2020 lockdown.

All applicants must also be able to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • They are operating in an affected sector (e.g. retail) but able to stay open as an essential business (e.g. a food deli that is considered essential but also serves lunches to shoppers and office workers, so has seen a significant drop in footfall/takings).
  • They are able to demonstrate that trade has dropped due to an inability to deliver consumer services (that cannot be delivered online) to customers due to social distancing requirements (for example a plumbing, cleaning or electrical service business).
  • They are reliant on businesses/sectors that were required to close under national lockdowns/tiered measures (since November 2020) for at least 50%* of their trade (for example a cake maker that supplies pubs and restaurants).
  • They are a business that supplies good/services direct to the consumer for at least 50%* of their trade, and ordinarily welcomes customers onto their premise to order/view goods, but does not have a fixed shop front (e.g. a carpenter that welcomes commissions from the public from a workshop).
  • *Or, a combination of both the above two criteria that equals or exceeds 50% of their trade.

In addition to the above criteria, owners/directors of mobile or home-based businesses will only be eligible for an open for business grant if:

  • They are not eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)*.
  • They have not furloughed themselves as an owner/director of a limited company*.

* Home-based/mobile workers who are eligible for/have claimed SEISS, or been furloughed, may be eligible under the Council’s COVID Business Rescue Fund which awards one-off grants of up to £1,500 to businesses (on a first-come-first-served basis). If businesses are not successful in their open/closed claim, based on SEISS or furlough, they may be considered under this fund and will not be required to apply again.

Businesses eligible for a ‘closed for business’ grant cannot apply for an ‘open for business’ grant through this scheme. A business cannot make applications to both schemes.  

To find out about our eligibility criteria, read our open for business grants policy.

How much funding is available?

The funding available under the ‘open for business’ scheme closely reflects the funding available under the ‘closed for business’ scheme but as a standard is 30% lower** becuase it recognises some open businesses are continuing to trade and so are able to make some income.

Grants will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, and when the funding runs out, no further grants will be payable, regardless of whether or not businesses are eligible.

November 2020 lockdown payments and Tier 3 bi-weekly payments

Closing date for applications 31 March 2021 (this may be subject to change).

Rateable value of your business premises

National lockdown (5 November to 2 December) 

Two-week extension amounts - for those that continued to be affected during Tier 3 measures

£15,000 or less, or not rated*

£934

£467

Over £15,000 and less than £51,000

£1,400

£700

£51,000 or above

£2,100

£1,050

Tier 4 and January 2021 lockdown payments***

Closing date for applications 31 March 2021.

Rateable value

Pro-rata Tier 4 bi-weekly payment (31 December – 4 January)

Regular lockdown payments (from 5 January – 15 February 2021)

One-off lockdown payment

Total

Below £15,000 or not rated* 

£166.75

£1,400.70

£2,800

£4,367.45

£15,001 - £50,999

£250

£2,100

£4,200

£6,550

£51,000+

£375

£3,150

£6,300

£9,825

Extended spring lockdown (16 February - 31 March 2021)

Closing date for applications 31 May 2021.

Rateable value

Extended spring lockdown payment (44-day period)

Below £15,000 or not rated **

£1,467.20

£15,001 - £50,999

£2,200.10

£51,000+

£3,299.80

* If your business is not rated, whilst we will endeavour to make the complete set of grant payments detailed above, this is not guaranteed. This is because we have only been provided with a limited pot of funding for non-rated businesses (through the Additional Restrictions Grant - ARG) so funding all applications in full may not be possible and funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If funding runs short, reduced or no funding may be awarded, even if your business meets the eligiblity criteria. A nil or reduced award of funding under the ARG is not grounds for appeal.

** Where businesses can demonstrate zero income, (for example those in the wedding or events sectors), the Council may award a higher grant amount. This is not guaranteed and is not grounds for an appeal.

*** Any business that was set up after 4 November, will only be eligible for funding from 31 December 2020 onwards.

Non-rated businesses with premises

Where funding is available, non-rated businesses with premises (for example businesses in shared workspace) self-employed individuals, who have no fixed costs, are not eligible for the Government’s Self Employment Income Support (SEIS) scheme (including homeworkers/home-offices/mobile workers) and have not furloughed themselves, will receive the same grant level as an open business with a Rateable Value of £15,000 or less, however this is not guaranteed and is not grounds for an appeal. To find out about our eligibility criteria, read our open for business grants policy.

Mobile & home-based businesses

Mobile/home based businesses are not eligible for a grant if they have claimed Self Employed Income Support SEISS or have furloughed themselves, however, they may be eligible under the Council’s COVID Business Rescue Fund which awards one-off grants of up to £1,500 to businesses (on a first-come-first-served basis). If businesses are not successful in their closed claim, they may be considered under this fund and will not be required to apply again. Businesses cannot apply directly to the COVID Business Rescue Fund. Read our open for business grants policy to find out more.

When will I get my payments?

New grant claims New can take up to four weeks to process. If payment is approved, due to annual billing (see below), some payments may be delayed until early/mid March 2021.

Annual billing/Automatic payments for the extended spring 2021 lockdown The Council is preparing to undertake its annual billing activity, which is a statutory role and its timing cannot be altered. Equally the system cannot be utilised to process business grants during this period. As such, payments to businesses for the extended spring lockdown (to cover the period from 16 February 2021 - 31 March 2021) will not be processed until 12 March 2021 at the earliest. The earliest payments into business bank accounts will not be until 18 March 2021. Some payments may be later.

Will I receive any payment paperwork? If you are approved for funding you will not receive any paperwork to confirm this. If you are rejected for funding you will receive a rejection email to the email used in your application.

Do I need to apply again for the extended spring 2021 lockdown?

If you have applied for/received a grant for the November/January lockdowns, you do not need to apply again for extended spring 2021 lockdown. If you have not yet applied for a grant to cover either the November/January lockdowns, you will need to do this first (see below).

Please note, if you have not already applied/received funding, the deadline to apply for the November & January lockdown funding is 31 March 2021, and the deadline to apply for the spring lockdown funding is 31 May 2021.

How do I apply?

Please do not apply again if you have already applied for/received a grant for the November/January lockdowns. If you are eligible, a further payment the extended spring lockdown will be made to you automatically.

If you have not already applied for a grant to cover the November lockdown, please complete an online application (see below).

Fill in an online application form

To claim an open for business grant, you will need to fill in an online application form.

You will also need to supply a range of evidence that the Government has requested we collect:

  • Your bank account number and sort code.
  • A scanned image/photo of personal ID that includes a photograph (such as a passport or driver's licence).
  • Details of your fixed costs (for example rent, rates, machine costs) and evidence of these. 
  • Your Companies House number/charity number, HMRC tax number, VAT number.
  • Evidence to show how you meet the scheme's critiera eligiblity criteria (for example contracts or client lists).
  • Details of/evidence that your turnover has been significantly impacted from November 2020 onwards - for example a copy of your previous year’s and this year’s accounts, or a letter from your accountant that details the impact on your business current/projected takings. If you are a new business we will contact you about the alternative evidence you can provide.
  • Scanned images/photos of your business bank statements (ideally September - November 2019 and September - November 2020) that demonstrate your drop in takings from November 2020 onwards. If you are a new business we will contact you about the alternative evidence you can provide.
  • Copy of payroll (where applicable).

Before applying, please read our Customer Services, Revenues and Benefits privacy notice.

Apply now 

Need help applying?

If you will struggle to complete the form, please call our customers services team on 01283 595795 to discuss what to do next. Our team is on hand Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8.45am and 5pm, Wednesdays between 9.30am and 5pm, and Fridays between 8.45am and 4.30pm.