Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Discretionary Grant

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Discretionary Grant

Who’s eligible, how we’ll assess your business and how to apply.

You can no longer apply for this grant. If you've applied, we'll contact you soon to inform you of the outcome. We’re aiming to process the grants by mid August. We recommend you review the business pages to see what other support is available.

The government is making additional funding available so we can further support small businesses.

The funding is capped at £5,000 to provide support to as many businesses as possible. 

Businesses that are eligible for other grants from the government as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the Small Business Grants Fund, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, the Fisheries Response Fund, the Zoo Support Fund, the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme or the Dairy Hardship Fund, are not eligible for a grant from this fund.

You can still apply if your businesses is seeking forms of support, such as the:

Read the full policy details. (pdf, 285KB) (opens new window)

What businesses are eligible

The West of England authorities (Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Council) will prioritise grants for these types of businesses: 

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial or science parks and incubators which don’t have their own business rates assessment
  • regular market or street traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who don't have their own business rates assessment
  • Bed and Breakfasts and guest houses which pay council tax instead of business rates
  • charity properties receiving charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief

Other businesses that may apply

You may still apply if your business is not on the list above but does fulfil all of the following categories:

  • businesses which occupy a property, or part of a property, with fixed property costs, lease, licence, annual rent or annual mortgage payments up to and including £75,000
  • businesses which can demonstrate that they’ve suffered a minimum 60% fall in income, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • businesses with 49 or less employees
  • businesses that were trading on or before 11 March 2020

We’ll assess applications based on local economic need.

Additional assessment criteria

Your business must be located in the Bristol City Council area with fixed costs payable in this area.

If your business is located in Bristol, but you trade in other local authorities across the West of England you’re only entitled to one grant.  

If your business operates within the west of England but does not have fixed costs within Bristol you should make your application to one of the other local authorities below. 

Check your business postcode (GOV.UK)

You can find the grants applications for other local authorities below:

We’ll also use the following criteria to see if your business is eligible:

  • your ongoing fixed building-related costs, such as rent, service charges and council tax
  • the size of your business, which must have had 49 or less employees in the last six months up to March 11 2020
  • whether you were still trading on 11 March 2020 and you occupy a property with fixed property costs, lease, licence, annual rent or annual mortgage payments up to and including £75,000

Who’s not eligible

You can’t apply for a Small Business Discretionary Grant if you’ve received or are eligible for:

Apply for a Small Business Discretionary Grant

You can apply until midnight on Sunday 19 July. 

You’ll need to provide:

  • the company registration number or charity number
  • your VAT registration number
  • your business rate or council tax account number if relevant 
  • your bank account details
  • a photo ID of the company director or liable party for the lease agreement or named charity secretary

You’ll also need to write a statement explaining how your business was affected and attach either:

  • your income and expenditure accounts
  • business bank account statements for a consecutive three month period in 2020 and for the same period in 2019

Apply for grant

We aim to make final award decisions by end of August. 

This is a discretionary fund and as such there'll be no right of appeal against a decision on eligibility or the level of grant, if any, awarded.

Read the full details on the grant’s application process and timeline. (pdf, 134KB) (opens new window)


For businesses with less than 10 employees you can contact Outset emergency business resilience support service if you need help with your application by: 

For other business support questions:

Grants paid so far

As of 30 June 2020, we've paid £2,163,210 in grants to 787 businesses. We'll issue confirmation of grant funding in due course.

When you'll hear back from us

We aim to confirm the outcomes to the remainder of businesses who applied in round 1 in the next few weeks. Don't apply again if you're a business who has already completed and submitted an application for a grant under this scheme. 

If you need to supply information to enable your application to be assessed, do it as a matter of urgency, as we'll soon be finalising awards from the first application window.

There'll be no recourse to appeal following the confirmation of outcomes as this is a discretionary fund.