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Local Authority Discretionary Grants scheme

Since April 2020 Barking and Dagenham Council has given out over £20m in grants to local businesses through the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

In May, the government announced 5% of additional funding to support small and micro businesses struggling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak that were not eligible for grants under these and other grants related to COVID-19.

The fund responds to calls from Barking and Dagenham Council and others for central government to address key gaps in support. It will take applications from businesses based in shared workspaces, market traders with fixed pitches and charities who missed out on the government’s Small Business Grant due to receiving charitable business rates relief.

Unfortunately, the limited amount of funding available will not be enough to enable us to help all organisations in need of support in the borough. Submitting an application and meeting the criteria set out below does not therefore guarantee approval of a grant. However, we will log all requests for funding from eligible organisations and continue to press the government for more funding.

Grants of £2,500, £5,000 and £10,000 are available for micro and small businesses. For sole traders or limited companies with no employees, only an owner, the maximum amount available is £2,500.

Please note that grant income received by a business is taxable therefore funding paid under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Application process

Applications are now closed.

A panel of officers will evaluate the applications received against the requirements within the government’s guidance and the criteria set out below, together with how each business benefits Barking and Dagenham residents and the local community.

We will inform applicants whether they have been successful and begin processing payments as soon as possible after applications close.

Decisions are solely at our discretion and will be final.

The council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Checks will be carried out to ensure applicants are genuine businesses trading in Barking and Dagenham that meet the minimum qualifying criteria. Businesses caught falsifying their records to gain grant funding will be referred to the council’s fraud team and the police.

Qualifying criteria

Before you complete the application, please review the checklist below carefully to ensure that you meet the qualifying criteria.

The business was trading on 11 March 2020.

The business is not currently in administration, insolvent or had a striking-off notice.

The business has a trading address in Barking and Dagenham.

The business is not able to access grants from any central government COVID-19 related grant schemes, including but not limited to the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

The business has not received a grant from another local authority under the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Scheme – and commits that they will pay back any grant received from LBBD if they subsequently receive a grant from another local authority or grant-giving organisation.

The business has fewer than 50 paid employees.

The business occupies property, or part of a property, with a rateable value, annual rent and/or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

The business is within one of the following priority sectors outlined by the government:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include artist studios, maker spaces, and units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

The business has ongoing fixed (non-domestic) property-related costs.

The business agrees to engage with council employment initiatives supporting people back to work.

If you do not meet these criteria, please do not apply as you will not qualify for a grant.

In addition to these minimum criteria, priority will be given to businesses that:

  • are able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income as a result of the current crisis – with priority given to those suffering a fall in income of more than 50%.
  • are able to demonstrate that they make a contribution to the local economy and community – with priority given to organisations that employ residents of Barking and Dagenham.
  • have higher property-related costs as a proportion of their turnover.

Businesses with a higher score will receive the full grant allocation. Businesses that meet all the criteria but demonstrate a lower level of need, based on the fall in income and property-related costs as a proportion of their income, may receive a lower grant allocation.

Evidence required

Before you start your application please ensure that you have scanned copies of all the documents listed ready to upload. Please use a scanning app on your phone (e.g. scannable) if you do not have access to a scanner.

It is best to avoid photographs as much as possible due to the file size but if you have no other option please ensure that no single document is larger than 10MB and that photographs are clear and legible.

The list of documents are:

  1. Business certificate of incorporation (if applicable)
  2. Bank statements for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020 for the account into which you would like any grant to be paid
  3. Xero / Sage / Quickbooks or equivalent Profit and Loss summary from April 2019 to March 2020
  4. Xero / Sage / Quickbooks or equivalent Balance Sheet
  5. Evidence showing ongoing property costs – such as a copy of your tenancy or rental agreement, your lease, your coworking membership agreement or similar
  6. An itemised list showing what the grant will be spent on

The local authority will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud – and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.

Find out what other financial support is available through the government's online help tool.