Business support grant funding

The government has announced various schemes to support businesses and charities in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. This page explains how you can claim grant funding as a charity, small business or a business in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector.

Further information

We are administering these grants in line with rules set by the government. We are contacting all businesses who are eligible and who have not yet claimed. Note that these are grants not loans; if you are eligible you do not have to pay the money back.

Who is eligible for grant funding?

When you input your business rates account number on the claim form it will automatically tell you whether you qualify.

Only one grant per property is payable.

There are currently two grants available with the addition of a small business discretionary grant which will be available soon.

To be eligible for the small business grant of £10,000 your business must:

To be eligible for the retail, hospitality and leisure grant your business or charity must:

  • be based in Leicester; and
  • be in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector; and
  • receive or be eligible to a business rate reduction under the Government’s expanded retail discount scheme; and
  • have occupied a property as at 11 March 2020 that is wholly or mainly used as hospitality, retail, or leisure venue, with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Eligible businesses with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Those with a ratebale value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Properties occupied for personal uses and those used as car parks and parking spaces are excluded from the above grant schemes.

See our detailed policy on business rate relief in these sectors: Expanded retail discount policy 2020-2021 (PDF)

Your business will also need to ensure that the grant would not cause State Aid thresholds to be breached. This is expected to apply to only a very small number of businesses.

If you think you should qualify but our claim form tells you that the rates account is ineligible, please follow the links to the government’s rate relief criteria. If, having read these, you still think a business grant should be payable, please email us and explain why.

Applications submitted from businesses, currently subject to a live striking off order, will be held pending further advice from the Government.

Small business discretionary grant

The Government has made available a discretionary grant fund to support small businesses and charities, that are not eligible for the above grants and which have ongoing fixed property related costs and have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis. The Government guidance was published on 13 May and can be found at GOV.UK. We are preparing a local scheme in the light of this guidance, which will be published as soon as possible. There will then be a fixed time period to apply for a discretionary grant. Further updates will be available on this page. You can make an intention to apply for discretionary grants online

Be aware of fraud

Please protect your information. Only fill in the business grant claim form linked from this page.

You do not need to employ rating agents or other organisations outside the council to claim the support that is available. These agents will probably take a percentage of any grant they claim on your behalf.

Before you apply

We recommend you read the government guidance before submitting your claim. We have summarised the key points at the start of the grant claim form. You can only claim one grant if your premises qualify under both schemes. The guidance sets out the purpose and scope of the grants, the eligibility criteria and state aid.

What you need to apply

You will need copies of:

  • an up-to-date business bank statement. We will pay the grant into this account
  • a passport, driving licence or similar official document showing the details and photograph of the person making the claim
  • a recent business rates bill (if available). This helps us process your claim more quickly.

Please have your business rates reference number to hand when completing the application form. Please also have your VAT number (if you have one) and a company number to hand, if applicable.

It is important you have these ready before you start filling in the online claim form - you will be asked to upload them. We accept scanned copies, pdfs and clear photographs of the documents taken on a smartphone. We need these documents to minimise errors and to protect businesses and the council from fraudulent claims.

We cannot accept password protected documents. If your business pays its business rates by direct debit, your grant will be paid into the bank account that is already on our records. You still need to complete all sections of the form. The online claims system includes automatic verification checks which must be passed before the claim can be submitted. Our staff will make further checks, after which the grant will be scheduled for payment into your bank account. Your rates account will show that the grant has been paid to you.

How do I claim?

After you apply

We will immediately acknowledge your claim by email and give you a reference number. If we then need further information to process your claim we will email you again. You can verify our emails are genuine because they will always give the same reference number. If you are not sure and want to check whether an email you receive is genuine, phone us on 0116 454 1019.  

After working through the online claim form, if you have queries regarding your application, please contact businessratesgrantscheme@leicester.gov.uk.

Business rates

We understand the uncertainty our city businesses face from the evolving coronavirus situation and are committed to supporting our business community by managing the two business rate schemes announced by the Chancellor – namely the Business Rates Holiday and the grant funding for businesses.

We are automatically applying the Business Rates Holiday for 2020-2021, with revised bills issued.

Information on additional business support schemes can be found on the LLEP Business Gateway website and a team of advisers are on hand to help you.