Published 16th June 2020

Eligible local businesses who did not qualify for a small business or retail, hospitality and leisure grant are being encouraged to apply for a discretionary grant payment to support them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The discretionary grants are aimed at small and micro businesses:

  • with relatively high ongoing fixed proper-related costs
  • which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis;
  • which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000;
  • with fewer than 50 employees;
  • that were trading on 11 March 2020.

The Council has been allocated £1,941,750 to fund these particular support grants and have worked with business leaders, local groups and support organisations to develop a policy within the guidelines provided by the Government. The council are keen to ensure that they are given to the maximum number of businesses but also needs to make sure not to exceed the government funding allocation. As at 15 June 2020, the Council has paid out over £36.2 million to 2,972 local businesses in various business grants.

For full details and to apply, please see visit

Please do not apply for this grant if you have already received one of the other grants. The only exception to this are businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), who are able to apply for this scheme as well.

Labour Councillor Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for Business, Culture & Tourism, says: “Since the discretionary business grant scheme was announced and further guidance received in May, we have been working in partnership with colleagues from the Southend Business Partnership, as well as other local businesses to inform this policy. This work has ensured that we can support additional local sectors including care homes, pre-school nurseries and industrial warehouses as well as the four groups prioritised by central Government.”

“Please look at the criteria for application carefully and if you think your company is eligible, complete the online form. As a reminder, this is not for companies which have already received a business grant or money from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund.”

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