Applications have now closed for the discretionary business grant fund. If you made an application for your business, we will get back to you at the end of June to let you know if you have been successful.

If your application was successful we will let you know the amount that you will be awarded. You can check the status of your application by logging into your MyWirral account.

Please do not contact us for updates during this time. This will enable us to focus on processing and assessing applications.

Find out more about the financial support available to your business

What is the discretionary business grant fund?

The new Discretionary Business Grants Fund aims to help those small businesses which were not eligible for other, recent, cash grants schemes. It is for business who have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If your business receives Small Business Rates Relief or the expanded Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief, then you may be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Businesses eligible for other support grant funds are not eligible for the Discretionary Business Grant Fund, which is a much smaller funding pot.

Priority will be given to the following types of businesses in the allocation of the Discretionary Business Grant Fund:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks and business centres, which do not have their own business rates assessment
  • regular market traders with ongoing fixed costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment
  • bed and breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
  • charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief

Applications from other small and micro businesses that have been unable to access other government grant support will also be considered. 

How will the grant be assessed and awarded?

The amount of grant awarded will be discretionary and determined by a number of factors, including:

  • the total number of applications we receive
  • the loss of income caused by COVID-19
  • the number of people your business employs
  • the value of your fixed, ongoing property costs

Once the two-week application window has closed, all applications will be assessed based on the information provided as part of the grant application process. Grants will be determined according to individual businesses eligibility and the level of need demonstrated in comparison to other applicants. This may result in some businesses not being awarded a grant.

How much money is available?

In order to support as many businesses as possible, the maximum grant available will be £10,000. Many grant awards will be less than £10,000 due to the level of funding available.

The minimum level of grant awarded to successful applicants will be £1,000.

Do I have to pay back the money?

Successful applicants will be awarded a grant, not a loan. You do not have to repay the grant, but it will be taxable. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax. A maximum of one grant will be awarded per business, not per property.  

Will a grant affect my benefit entitlement?

Applicants who receive welfare benefits from local government or the Department of Work and Pensions (including Council Tax Support, Housing Benefit, and Universal Credit) should be aware that income from grant payments must be declared. It can be taken into account in relation to your savings and capital and could affect your entitlement to such benefits.

Eligibility criteria

The following types of business are eligible for consideration:

  • small and micro-businesses as defined under the Companies Act 2006 (see the details below)
  • businesses with relatively high ongoing commercial fixed property-related costs, for example, rent, service charge, lease, licence
  • businesses which occupy commercial property, or part of a commercial property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual commercial mortgage payments below £51,000
  • businesses with a predominant non-residential trading address or premises which fall within the Wirral Council area (Business rates payable to Wirral Council or where exempt without relief would be payable to Wirral Council)
  • existing businesses which were actively trading on 11 March 2020
  • businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis

Businesses which have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme or the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can apply for this scheme.

How is a small business or micro business defined?

To qualify as a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, you must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:

  • 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

To qualify as a micro-business, under the Companies Act 2006, you must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:

  • turnover not more than £632,000
  • balance sheet total not more than £316,000
  • number of employees; a headcount of staff of not more than 10

Which businesses cannot apply for the discretionary scheme?

Businesses that have received cash grants from any central government COVID-19 related grants scheme are unable to apply for the Discretionary Business Grants Fund. Such grant schemes include but are not limited to:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • The Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
  • The Zoos Support Fund
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund

Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible. Businesses that are not actively trading also cannot apply.

The following businesses are not eligible:

  • businesses without commercial property-related costs 
  • businesses in shared workspace with less than one month’s lease or licence agreement in place, including those that ‘hot desk’ or have more flexible arrangements
  • businesses based in residential property (except B&Bs registered with Wirral Council’s Environmental Health department), including homeworkers
  • mobile businesses without commercial property-related costs
  • advertising and billboard properties
  • places of worship (except organisations trading within these settings)
  • businesses who have received a grant from Wirral Council’s Covid-19 Childcare Response Scheme.

Day nurseries, out of school clubs, child-minders that have remained open during Covid-19 should apply for Wirral Council’s Covid-19 Childcare Response Scheme If they haven’t already.  

There may be other circumstances that mean a business is not eligible. This list is intended to serve only as a guide to applicants. The Council reserves the right not to make funding awards to organisations for any reason, including if it believes doing so may bring the Council into disrepute.

State Aid guidance

State aid rules apply to this grant.  What follows is a brief summary.  If you have any doubt as to your position you must seek appropriate advice before proceeding.

If, with this grant (which will not exceed £10,000), your undertaking will have received less than  €200,000 (the Maximum Level of De Minimis State Aid) of state aid (aid from Central, Local or European Governments of bodies funded by them) in the last three years - please respond 'No' to the following question on the form: “Does your state aid position disqualify you from applying for this grant?”, and move on through the form.

If this is not the case and your undertaking has already received the maximum Level of De Minimis State Aid then you must only answer 'No' on the form if the following statements are both true:

  1. with this grant your undertaking will have received less than  €120,000 of state aid if it operates in the fishing and agriculture sectors, or  €100,000 of state aid if it operates in the primary production of agricultural products or  €800,000 of state aid if it operates in any other sector; and
  2. as at 31st December 2019 it was not an Undertaking in Difficulty within the meaning of Article 2(18) of the General Block Exemption Regulations"

If your undertaking has received state aid which is just below the relevant threshold please upload a separate statement document in the ‘supporting information’ section and we will contact you to discuss your position.