COVID-19: Grants for businesses
Business Restrictions Hardship Grant
Update on 1 June 2021: Our Business Restrictions Hardship Grant fund is now closed for applications. All current applications are being processed and will be paid in June. We will also be making further 'top-up' payments to applicants this month - you do not need to reapply for top-up payments.
Fund guidance - retained below for reference
The fund will support small and micro independent businesses (less than 50 employees) in sectors most impacted by restrictions and closures and their supply chains. You cannot apply if you are eligible for the Restart grants, but you can apply if you have received other restrictions or lockdown grants and don’t qualify for Restart grants. Please check your eligibility for Restart Grants here first, and apply for that if appropriate.
We have now increased the levels of the grant available to applicants, doubling its value. If you received a grant from this fund previously, you will receive the same amount again to bring it up to this new level - you do not have to apply for this as it will be paid automatically.
This page contains important information on eligibility and how to apply. Please ensure you read this guidance below in full before applying, using the link further down this page. If you qualify and have not made an application for this fund before, you must make an application even if you have received automatic repeat payments for other grants.
Home-based businesses and new businesses that have started up during the pandemic restrictions and have been demonstrably trading during the period of restrictions can apply, provided they meet the criteria below and are in one of the eligible sectors.
Which business can apply?
This is a short summary of those eligible - you must read the full information here to determine if your business is eligible.
New categories of eligible businesses:
- Driving based businesses
- Childcare providers in business premises
- Artists and makers in studios/ shared workspaces that pay an all inclusive fee of £250+ per month
- Coworking and shared workspace providers
- Group travel and tour operators
- Regular market traders trading in the same place for at least 5 days per week
- English language schools
- Independent retail concessions within larger stores
- Laundrette businesses supplying retail, leisure and hospitality
The previous categories below are still eligible, if you have not applied yet:
- Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector that don’t qualify for the Restart Grant
- Businesses supplying hospitality, leisure sectors, including freelancers
- Businesses that were closed due to the national lockdown periods, but do not qualify for the Restart Grant
- Independent retailers in properties where you do not pay Business Rates directly, and have not received ‘lockdown’ or Restart grants via your landlord.
- Personal care and wellbeing services that have not been required to close
- Cultural and creative businesses in shared spaces/studios, or audience reliant cultural businesses
Home-based businesses and those that started during the pandemic can apply if they meet the other eligibility criteria. You must refer to the full list and definitions to ensure you are eligible before applying.
How much is available?
For businesses that pay business rates:
|Rateable Value of your business premises||Grant|
|Up to £15k||£3,000|
|£15,001 to £50,999||£6,000|
|£51,000 or over||£10,000|
You can check your rateable value on your Business Rates Bill or online here.
For businesses that do not pay business rates:
|No. of employees (FTE) excluding owner(s)||Grant|
|0 employees/sole trader||£3,000|
|1 to 4 employees||£6,000|
|5 to 49 employees||£10,000|
In applying, you must make declarations and provide documentation that confirms your business status, to help prevent fraud. All applications will be checked for eligibility and accuracy.
This funding is available to those that meet the following criteria:
- Your business has experienced a severe impact on turnover in 2020/21, meaning at least a demonstrable 25% drop.
- Have a demonstrable minimum annual turnover of at least £10,000 during 19/20, or pro-rata if started during or after that year and are still trading.
- For home-based businesses, soul traders and partnerships, the applicant business owner must be resident in the borough.
- Be based in the borough of Kingston upon Thames and / or substantially trading and delivering the business in the borough.
- Where no business property costs are incurred, you must have other significant demonstrable business costs to cover, such as insurances, professional memberships, software fees, or vehicle lease for example.
- Businesses that are in shared workspaces, meet the other eligibility criteria and are within the eligible sectors are able to apply.
- Businesses that have started up and are trading during the pandemic restrictions can also apply, if trading before 30 April and where you've been reliant on the income form this. However, grants may be adjusted depending on how long your business has been trading.
I received restrictions grants previously - can I still apply?
If you have received grants from earlier funding rounds, such as the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants, or Discretionary Grant Funding in 2020, or the business restrictions grants ('LRSG' grants) - you can still apply for the Business Restrictions Hardship Grant if you meet the eligibility criteria. You cannot apply if you are eligible for Restart Grants.
To be eligible for these grants, all applicants must:
- Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million
- Balance sheet total: Not more than 5.1 million
- Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50
Severe impact means at least a demonstrable 25% drop in turnover.
Broadly speaking, 'Leisure and hospitality sector' means:
- Restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs
- Cinemas or live music venues
- Assembly or leisure properties - for example, a bingo hall, a sports club, a gym or spa
- Hospitality property - for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation
For the purposes of these grants 'Independent' means:
- Must not be a public limited company
- Must be below 250 employees across all branches
- Must not be a national chain, or a more local chain with more than 5 properties. If applying for multiple properties, 1 grant is available per property that is within borough, up to 3 grants, each assessed independently. We may apply discretion with regards to local chains
- Can be under private, cooperative or community ownership
Changes to the fund
We expect to have to adjust the grant scheme to meet demand over time. This means we may need to adjust grant values and eligibility thresholds to meet the budget available. Therefore:
- Applying for a grant does not necessarily mean that a grant will be paid, even if you meet the eligibility criteria.
- The grants paid may be higher or lower than the indicative values below.
- Kingston Council may change any aspect of the scheme at any time, to ensure it meets needs.
Make a grant application
Applicants need to make a declaration on loss of income and the impact of the restrictions on their business during the application form, and you may be required to provide further evidence of the loss of income as part of the validation of process. Applicants will also need to upload a current bank statement during the application process. It will help to have this ready before you start your application.
Applications will be assessed on receipt and payment made once relevant checks have been made on the information you’ve provided, and eligibility confirmed. Your payment may be delayed if you miss out any of the information required or provide inaccurate information.
Validating your application
We will check every application and its supporting evidence for eligibility. This will include checks with Companies House and/or Credit Referencing Agencies to confirm information about you, your business and bank account. Speculative, false or fraudulent applications will be rejected and applications could be used in legal action where attempted fraud is suspected.
In applying for the grants, you accept that if a grant payment is made in error you must repay this. If necessary, action will be taken in these circumstances.
Incomplete applications and applications without clear evidence may be rejected. If a new application is needed the council cannot accept responsibility if the applicant subsequently misses the application window.
Beware of scams and ‘phishing’ emails
Criminals are attempting to take advantage of these schemes. Only submit your form using the link found on this website directly - never use a third party link to get to this, or to respond to a grant ‘paid in error’.
There is no need to pay a company to submit this application for you, and doing so may expose you to risks from scammers.
If we contact you by phone we will email you first. This will enable you to verify who we are. Because the Guildhall Complex remains closed, staff checking your application will be working from home. An incoming call to your phone may show that the caller’s number is withheld because our staff will be using their personal phone. You will be asked to check your email and to quote your claim reference number.