Second round of Discretionary Grants now open for independent businesses

Following the initial round focussing on the Government priority areas Kingston Council are pleased to launch a further round of funding to a wider category of businesses today, 14 July.

Our borough has been allocated approximately £1.5m for this scheme, and has consulted with partners in Kingston Chamber of Commerce and the Kingston First BID in preparing for the second round.

The Discretionary Grant Fund has been set up by the Government to help certain small and micro businesses, as well as charities that were outside the scope of the previous business grant schemes. Our second round of funding is open to independent businesses, small and micro-businesses, and those in shared workspaces, including artists/makers and some childcare providers. 

Cllr John Sweeney, Portfolio Holder for Business and Leisure at Kingston Council, said:

“Many businesses have been affected severely by the pandemic, and some smaller independent businesses have struggled disproportionately due to being unable to access other Government funding. We want to help businesses through this difficult period by offering meaningful grants and providing a lifeline to some of those who need it the most, and help as many as we can with the limited budget available.”

Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First, said:

“We have been working hard to support businesses through the lockdown in a variety of ways, including making the case locally and nationally for financial support for businesses who haven’t been beneficiaries of Government grants to date. Our independent businesses are essential to the success of Kingston town centre. I’m delighted, therefore, that Kingston Council has expanded eligibility of the grant so that many independents can now get this much needed help at a critical time.”

Forbes Low, CEO at Kingston Chamber of Commerce, said:

“It is imperative that financial support can be utilised quickly to aid micro, small and independent businesses in the borough. They contribute so much to our local economy, in so many ways. I am pleased that Kingston Council has expanded this grant and hope that it can reach those who need it the most.”

The application window will be open between 12noon on 14 July and 5pm 31 July 2020. No applications will be assessed until the window closes and we anticipate first payments being made from week commencing 10 August. 

This second round of funding is open to:

  1. Independent hospitality: bars, restaurants and cafes with Rateable Values up to £100,000. 
  2. Independent retailers in business property with Rateable Values up to £100,000 (and those below £51K that do not pay their own business rates and have not benefited from any previous grant that the landlord may have received). 
  3. Artists and makers in studios/ shared workspaces without their own Rateable Value, and an all-inclusive fee to the studio/workspace operator of a minimum of £250 per month.
  4. Independent coworking and shared workspace operators that provide desk-based workspaces in a shared environment, with Rateable Values up to £51K.
  5. Independent Ofsted Registered Childcare providers/nursery businesses in shared workspaces, or their own business premises with Rateable Value below £100K. 
  6. Small and micro businesses (up to 49 employees) in shared offices and workspaces or other flexible workspaces with fixed ongoing property costs, without their own business rates assessment (including those with contracts/memberships using fixed desks in coworking spaces).

Depending on the demand and to help as many businesses as we can, the eligibility thresholds may need to be shifted and grants levels adjusted. Therefore, applying for a grant and meeting the criteria will not guarantee a grant will be paid, or if it will be at a specified amount. Check eligibility for other Government grants and support on the Government website.

Read more about the grant, eligibility criteria, and the application and evaluation process on our website before applying.