Applications for phase 2 of the scheme closed at midday on 13 July 2020.

Introduction

Small and micro businesses with ongoing fixed property costs may be eligible for a grant from the Discretionary Grants Scheme if they were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

This fund is significantly smaller than the previous coronavirus related grants and will only be available to support a small number of businesses in Merton.

Beware of scams

Scammers are contacting businesses – sometimes while pretending to be us – asking for bank details or payment relating to a grant.

There is no need to pay to access government business grants. Remember the 'from' address on an email may be fake, and please be wary of clicking any link in an email.

When applying online for a grant from us, always start on our official website www.merton.gov.uk.

Eligibility

In Merton we will administer the scheme in two phases.

Phase 1

The deadline for phase 1 applications was 5pm on 24 June 2020.

During this phase the following types of business were eligible:

  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief;
  • small businesses and nurseries in shared premises or other flexible workspaces (examples could include 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; and
  • bed and breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates.

The list above is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended to guide local authorities as to the types of business that the government considers should be a priority for the scheme. We will determine whether particular situations not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, whether they should be eligible for grants from this discretionary fund.

Phase 2

During phase 2 the following types of business will be eligible, subject to funding being available.

  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Other small businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs.
  • Businesses that occupy a property with a rateable value below £51,000
  • Priority will be given to businesses and organisations that demonstrate they support closing the equality gap between the east and west of the borough

Criteria for all applicants

To be eligible, a business must meet all of the following criteria. The business must:

  • have been trading on 11 March 2020,
  • be a 'small' or 'micro' business – this means having two or more of the following:
    • turnover of £10.2 million or less,
    • balance sheet total of £5.1 million or less
    • under 50 employees
  • have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs,
  • be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis,
  • occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000
  • not be eligible for other central government coronavirus-related schemes including (but 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
  • not be in administration, insolvent nor have received a striking-off notice.

Businesses can apply for this scheme if they are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or Self-Employed Income support scheme (SEISS).

Grant amounts

The value of the grant payment made to a business is at the discretion of the council. Grants up to the value of £25,000 may be awarded. It is likely that payments of under £10,000 may be appropriate in the majority of cases and in order to assist aiding more local businesses. For further details please see the policy document below.

We aim to make the first payments by the end of June.

Policy, decision making and appeals

For full details of the scheme including grant values, decision making and appeals processes, please read our policy document.

Merton Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund Policy

How to apply

The deadline for phase 2 applications was midday on 13 July 2020.

Applications made after the deadline will not be considered.

Applications will be assessed against the criteria detailed above, and all businesses that have applied will be notified of the outcome.

Find out more

GOV.UK: Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund