COVID-19: Local restrictions grants

Business Restrictions Hardship Grant

This fund will initially support small independent businesses (less than 50 employees) in sectors most impacted by restrictions and closures, that have not been covered by support. Please ensure you read this guidance below in full before applying. If you qualify, you must make an application even if you have received automatic repeat payments for other grants

This funding is initially available to those that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Businesses that were or are closed due to the national lockdown periods, but do not qualify for the ‘National Lockdown Grant’ and that do not pay business rates (such as market traders and those in shared workspaces).

  • Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector that don’t pay business rates or hold a business rates account, including businesses in these sectors that are home-based or working from shared work spaces. This includes also sports, health and fitness businesses.

  • Hospitality and leisure ‘supply chain’ businesses - those that are reliant on those in the hospitality, leisure and retail sector for a substantial part of their business,(for example, event firms, catering, marketing, transport services, wholesalers, wedding services, security services, photographers) - this includes those that pay business rates, and those that do not. This therefore also includes businesses that are home-based or working from shared work spaces. Sports, health and fitness businesses may also apply.

  • Personal care and wellbeing services that have not been required to close, but have been severely impacted by restrictions. (For example, hair, beauty, tanning and nail services. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage and physio services, piercing services, and also therapy services) 

  • Cultural and creative businesses with demonstrable severe impact from restrictions, including those that are home-based or in shared work spaces. (Specifically, this includes those involved in the creation, production and delivery of events and performances that rely on audiences or event attendees for a significant portion of their income, and dance schools and classes. Creative businesses that do not fit this description may qualify via the 'supply chain' criteria above.)

  • Businesses in retail units that are not required to close due to lockdown restrictions, but are experiencing significant demonstrable loss of income due to restrictions (including dry cleaners).

Applicants must:

  • 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
  • Have been trading on 16 December 2020
  • Be based in the borough of Kingston upon Thames and / or substantially trading and delivering the business in the borough. For home-based businesses, soul traders and partnerships, the applicant business owner must be resident in the borough.

Applicants need to make a declaration on loss of income during in application form. Any applicant may be required to provide further evidence of the loss of income as part of the validation of process.

Who cannot apply?

This grant is not currently available for most businesses* that have received, or are eligible for grants from the schemes providing grants for the Tier 2, 3 or 4 restrictions, or the National Lockdown grants, set out on this page. You may be eligible for further grants for businesses required to close, or subsequent rounds of the Business Restrictions Hardship Grant.  

*The exceptions to this are businesses in the hospitality and leisure supply chain - these businesses can still apply if they have received the support above.

I received grants earlier in 2020 - 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, associated with the first national lockdown in spring/summer 2020 - you can still apply for the Business Restrictions Hardship Grant if you meet the eligibility criteria.

How much is available?

For businesses that pay business rates:

RV Grant
Up to £15k £1,500
£15,001 to £50,999 £3,000
£51,000 or over £5,000

For businesses that do not pay business rates: 

No. of employees (FTE) excluding owner(s) Grant
0 employees/sole trader £1,500
1 to 4 employees £3,000
5 to 49 employees £5,000

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.

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. 

To be eligible for these grants, all applicants must:

  • Be a small and micro businesses, as defined by the Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006, including:
    • 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

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.

Make a grant application

Applicants will have to make a declaration on the level of impact the restrictions have made on their business for the period the grants cover. 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.

Apply for a Business Restrictions Hardship Grant

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.

Last Modified: 02/03/2021 17:55:18

Apply for a Hardship Grant

Apply for a Hardship Grant