Coronavirus Local Discretionary Grant Scheme

The Local Discretionary Grant Scheme is an additional fund to the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund.

The local discretionary grant is aimed at small businesses who

  • are not eligible for other funds such as the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality fund
  • have relatively high ongoing property costs
  • have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Central government provided limited fixed funding of £4,287,250 for us to distribute for this scheme. This means we are unable to provide a grant to every eligible business and charity that applies.  We have already committed some of the funding in phase 1 of this scheme.

Phase 1

We opened Phase 1 of the Local Discretionary Grant Scheme on Monday 1 June 2020 at 8am. Phase 1 closed at 8am on the 15 June 2020.

We are verifying and will determine all valid applications received under Phase 1. You will receive a payment via BACS transfer directly into your bank account for applications that qualify for the discretionary grant. As we need to make verification checks before we make payments you may not receive payment until the 1 July 2020. Following payment of the grant, we will send grant recipients a letter asking you to confirm that you are able to accept the grant under state aid rules.

We will notify you directly if your claim is not successful. You do not need to contact us unless asked to do so.

Phase 2

Phase 2 opened at 8am on Friday 26 June 2020.  It will remain open for 14 days.

It will close at 8am on Friday 10 July 2020.

In Phase two, those eligible to apply in Phase one may still apply, but the scheme will be opened up to a wider range of businesses.

As with Phase one there will be 5 levels of grants awarded in Phase two:

  • £2,500 grant
  • £5,000 grant
  • £7,500 grant
  • £10,000 grant
  • £25,000 grant

We will award grants to a level proportionate to the level of demonstrated ongoing property costs for the business related to their premises in Cheshire East, and impact on income due to COVID-19.

We will limit £25,000 grants to the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors to align with the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund (RHLGF). No more than 49% of the total fund will be awarded to businesses occupying premises with a Rateable Value over £51,000.

We will consider all applications submitted within this phase with adequate supporting information in order of receipt. We will award grants subject to remaining funds. We can only accept one application per business.  We will not set aside funds for applications submitted without adequate supporting information pending the receipt of further information. If the fund is oversubscribed,we reserve the right to amend the grant levels to a pro-rata basis, based on the applications received and approved. We will only issue grants to the value of the fund.

We will not consider any applications submitted outside the advertised windows.

We will publish details of any further phases.

Eligibility and how to apply for Phase 2

To be eligible for this Phase of the grant scheme applicants must satisfy all the following eligibility criteria in A and B:

A.   The mandatory eligibility criteria set by the Government:

  • Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central Government scheme are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. Such grant schemes include but are 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          
  • Only businesses which were trading on 11th March 2020 are eligible but companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made are not eligible.

B. The local eligibility criteria set by Cheshire East:

Applicants must:

  • Have fewer than 50 employees and meet the requirements of being a small business as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business. Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, and the Companies Act 2006;
  • Be able to clearly evidence a drop in income due to COVID-19 of in excess of £750 for the quarter March 1-31 May 2020;
  • Be able to clearly evidence and identify ongoing fixed business property-related costs, for business premises in Cheshire East, in excess of £750 for the period 1 March - 31 May 2020.  This information will be used to assess applications to ensure consistency with phase one of the grant scheme;
  • Occupy small, commercial business premises in Cheshire East with a Rateable Value up to £20,000 with the exception of:
    • Local Independent Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses occupying premises with a Rateable Value in excess of £20,000;
    • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
    • Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Rate Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief;
    • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces without their own Rateable Value, occupying spaces with annual rental costs of between £3,000 and £51,000;
    • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Not breach State Aid requirements by accepting the grant.

Starting your application

Before starting your application read our  Local Discretionary Grant Phase 2 Policy (PDF, 376KB).

You will need:

  • Proof of ID (eg Passport or Driving Licence)
  • VAT registration number (if applicable)
  • Company registration number (if applicable)
  • Charity registration number (if applicable)
  • Business bank sort code
  • Business bank account number
  • Business bank account name
  • Latest set of detailed Management Accounts* (December 2019 to May 2020 inclusive)
  • Business bank statements for the last 6 months (December 2019 to May 2020 inclusive)
  • Evidence relating to ongoing fixed-property related costs (eg lease, rental or mortgage agreement, loan payment agreements)

* For businesses who do not have management accounts, send latest tax returns, or an opening statement from an accountant that includes expected income and operating expenses.

Validation and next steps

Our staff are validating and appraising the grant applications, so we are now unable to respond to telephone and email enquiries about the discretionary grant scheme.