Discretionary Grant Fund


The Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at small and micro businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

The Discretionary Grant scheme has now closed. If you need business support or advice, please email businessbolton@bolton.gov.uk. 

The grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006.

  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs

  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis

  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.


The government is asking local authorities to prioritise the following types of businesses for grants from within this funding pot:

  • Small businesses in shared offices 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 assessments
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief.

To be eligible to apply for a grant under this scheme, a small business must:

  • Have been trading on 11th March 2020
  • Have fewer than 50 employees,  
  • Have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and
  • Be able to demonstrate it has had a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures
  • The business must not be in administration, insolvent or have a striking-off notice in place

This grant funding is for businesses that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses which are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID related scheme (apart from Self Employment Income Support Scheme) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary 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

Businesses who have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are eligible to apply for the discretionary fund scheme.

Grant Allocation for Businesses, Market Traders and Charities

Grant awards will be based on each unit based on the annual property costs charged rent and rates. Businesses eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Grant and Retail and Leisure Hospitality Grant with their own rates assessment will not be eligible for the Discretionary Fund.

Grant payment;

  • £5,000 for businesses that are charged an annual rent and rates charge up to and including £5,000

  • £10,000 for businesses that are charged an annual rent and rates charge of £5,001 and over.

Grant Allocation for Bed and Breakfasts

As they do not have property costs in the same way as other eligible businesses, Bed and Breakfasts (B&B’s) which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates but are not in receipt of local authority financial support in housing vulnerable clients, will have their grant amount determined by the number of bedrooms available for guests.

Grant payment;

  • £5,000 for 1 to 3 bedroom properties

  • £10,000 for properties with 4 bedrooms and above 

*The Council has access to limited funds from Government for this scheme. If the fund is oversubscribed with the applications received, the Council reserves the right to amend the grant levels/ratios based on the applications received and approved as required. 

Applications are initially invited for 3 weeks from Tuesday 2 June 2020 until Monday 22 June from the priority business categories listed above. It is expected payments will be made and sent to businesses 14 days after the application is made. All payments are subject to State Aid rules and, should the business make a profit in this financial year, tax.

Given the level of funding allocation and the high number of estimated businesses in the priority areas outlined by the government, there will unfortunately still be businesses who are neither eligible for this fund or the previous grants announced. 

After the Council has processed and decided on grant allocations for all applications from the first phase, there will be an assessment of whether there is any Government funding left. The Council may then offer future phases of grant funding and further information about this will be made available at the appropriate time, should it be required. 

The Discretionary Grant scheme has now closed. Further details on any future funding will be published here. If you need business support or advice, please email businessbolton@bolton.gov.uk.


Published: 22nd June 2020