Discretionary Business Grants: Details Released

A discretionary business grant fund has been made available to councils by the Government to support businesses which are NOT eligible for the Small Business Grant Funding (SBGF) or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) but which have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The SBGF and RHLG schemes are the one-off £10,000 or £25,000 grants from the council available to some businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors.  If you have already had one of these grants then you are not eligible to apply for a discretionary grant.

If your business has fixed property costs such as rent but was not eligible under the previous schemes then applications for discretionary grants are now open, depending on your own council’s criteria.  Applications must be made by 16 June.  The Government has indicated that payments of up to £10,000 will be appropriate in most cases.  Grants are not repayable but are taxable.

Types of businesses which have been prioritised are

  • Businesses in receipt of charity relief
  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces.
  • Regular market traders
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates

Details and application procedures will be different for each council. The following details apply to Wigan Council.


  • The applicant is the owner or director of the applying business
  • The applicant currently leases or owns business premises / a business work base within the Wigan borough
  • The business does not qualify for, and has not previously been awarded, any of the following COVID grant measures:
    • Small Business Support Grant (Scheme 1)
    • Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant (Scheme 2a)
    • Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant (Scheme 2b)
    • Any other COVID-19 related business support measure
  • The business has not previously received a Discretionary COVID Grant award
  • The business employs a total of less than 50 people
  • The business can adequately demonstrate significant loss of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures
  • The business has rental or mortgage costs no less than £100.00 per calendar month
  • The business is not in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice
  • The business complies with State Aid rules.

Documents Needed

  • A current signed property lease / mortgage deed and business
  • Bank statements covering February, March, and April 2020

Complete the online Discretionary Business Grant Fund application form https://apps.wigan.gov.uk/Covid19/DiscretionaryBusinessGrants

You will need some financial information from your latest accounts to complete the application form.

Other Councils

Bolton – Due to go live shortly https://www.businessbolton.org/news/article/10/financial-support-due-to-covid-19?newsID=10#Discretionary

Chorley https://chorley.gov.uk/Pages/AtoZ/Covid-19-(coronavirus)-Business-Support.aspx

Liverpool – will be accepting applications shortly https://liverpool.gov.uk/business/business-support-and-advice/coronavirus-support-for-businesses-and-employers/discretionary-grants-fund/

Manchester Council is operating a phased approach with priority given to start up and micro businesses. https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/500361/coronavirus/7935/coronavirus_-_businesses_and_employers/11

West Lancs are initially accepting applications from the four categories of priority business and will consider other businesses in a second phase if funds allow.  https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/business/business-advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-businesses.aspx

Alison Unsworth

We’re here to help

With all the legislative changes and updates over recent days in these ever changing and uncertain times, our teams are briefed and here to help you and your business.

Whilst our physical offices are closed following the ‘lock down’ advice, the team at NR Barton are working remotely from home. If you have any questions you should not hesitate to contact your engagement partner or manager who will be happy to assist; our contact details can be found here.

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All the best

The NR Barton team

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