Discretionary Business Grants
Government confirmed additional COVID-19 emergency funding of £612,750 to Crawley Borough Council for a Discretionary Business Grants programme. The funding is aimed at supporting small and micro-businesses in Crawley. The Council, like local authorities across the country, has discretion to set the evaluation criteria used to assess applications for a grant from this fund and to decide which business applicants are awarded grants. The criteria are summarised below.
Eligible small and micro-businesses in Crawley could apply online for a Discretionary Business Grant from Monday 1 June until Sunday 14 June.
The Discretionary Business Grants funding is a much smaller allocation compared to the previous Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants of £12.1 million. It is likely that the new fund will be oversubscribed, meaning only a small minority of business applicants are likely to be successful in securing grant funding from this particular scheme.
All applications will be assessed in accordance with the evaluation criteria below.
Summary of eligibility criteria
- An applicant should not have been awarded a Small Business Grant or a Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant or any other COVID-19 emergency business grants
- An applicant must be a micro or small business in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (see sections 18 and 19 of the West Sussex Councils Guidance document at the foot of this page)
- An applicant can only receive a maximum of one grant award if successful and must declare if they have made an application in any other local authority area
- An applicant must be a business trading successfully on or before 11 March 2020
- Businesses in administration or which are insolvent are not eligible to apply, neither are businesses where a “striking off” notice has been made
- Applications should only come from businesses in a property with an annual rateable value (or property cost equivalent) of a maximum of £51,000, apart from very exceptional circumstances
- Businesses who have applied for the Job Retention Scheme or Self Employment Income support scheme are eligible to apply for the Discretionary Grants scheme
- Businesses must provide relevant documentary evidence to support their application, as set out in the online form.
- Any grant award is subject to due diligence checks, including State Aids compliance
Summary of evaluation criteria
The stated government priorities for Discretionary Grants are:
- Micro-enterprises in business work spaces
- Market Traders
- Bed and Breakfasts
- Charity properties who get rates relief but who otherwise would have qualified for Small Business Rates relief
- Businesses in premises with an annual rateable value of £51,000 or below, or an equivalent property cost if rates are not applicable.
Using the discretion we have been given, Crawley BC will prioritise the following small / micro businesses when evaluating applications:
- Those who applied for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality, Leisure grant (i.e. those in the supply chain) but who were unsuccessful, provided they can demonstrate they have relatively high fixed property related costs
- Those who can demonstrate they have experienced a significant fall in income due to COVID-19 crisis
- Those who can demonstrate a high risk of job losses without grant funding
- Those who can demonstrate they have a significant impact on the surrounding local economy (e.g. if they are in a prominent location in Crawley)
- Those that can demonstrate a high rate of business growth in the years prior to the COVID-19 crisis (up to 5 years)
- Those who have not benefited from other business grant schemes
The more of these criteria an applicant can demonstrate and the more convincing the case made, the stronger their application.
Timings and process for awarding grants
Eligible businesses in Crawley could submit applications from 1 to 14 June 2020 inclusive.
- Crawley BC Economic Development team will check applications for eligibility and evaluate applications then shortlist businesses recommended for a grant
- Crawley BC Finance team will carry out due diligence checks on the shortlisted applicants
- An officer Grants Panel will confirm successful applicants and the Council will write to them, requesting that they formally accept the grant and sign a declaration confirming State Aid compliance and an anti-fraud declaration
- Subject to the above, Crawley BC Finance team will then process grant payments to successful applicants
The Council will process payments to successful applicants as quickly as possible.
For any enquiries please email the Economic Development team.
Grant Payment Levels and Criteria
When awarding business grants to successful applicants Crawley Borough Council will adhere to the following criteria when determining the maximum amount of grant to allocate to a business. Apart from the exception indicated below, the Council will exercise its discretion in determining the appropriate amount of grant to award to each successful applicant up to the maximum amount indicated for each category below.
* In this case the business grant may only be considered by the council in West Sussex where the registered trading address is located.
**Any such exceptional payment would amount to £25,000 only and not any value up to £25,000, as per the government guidelines.