Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF) Scheme 3: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is to benefit from the LADGF scheme?
A: This scheme is aimed at businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. The purpose of the grant is to help cover an ongoing fixed building related cost such as rent or business mortgage payments since the COVID-19 lockdown.
Q: What are the mandatory eligibility criteria?
A: Businesses must meet all of the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply for the LADGF:
- Trading on 11 March 2020
- Have high fixed business premises costs
- Can evidence significant financial loss as a result of Covid-19 crisis
- Have not been eligible for any other Government Covid-19 related funding schemes (EXCEPT Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme)
Q: What types of businesses are being prioritised for this grant?
A: The Government have stipulated that the discretionary grants are primarily and predominantly for the following 4 national priority business types:
- Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, e.g. industrial parks units, science parks, incubators, etc. 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
- Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates
- Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
In addition to the 4 national priority business types, East Devon District Council has added a local priority business type, which covers the following criteria:
- Have high fixed business property costs. These must be a minimum cost of £200 per calendar month.
- Can evidence significant financial loss as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
- Fall within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors or who predominately supply to these sectors
- May be classified as a language school
- Are not eligible under the national priorities grant scheme
- There is no cap on the number of employees or the rateable value of the property
The Council’s policy also allows for potential special cases to be considered, where businesses are considered most relevant and crucial to our local economy.
Detailed definitions of these types of businesses are available in the policy document.
Q: What evidence and supporting information do I need to provide if applying for a LADGF grant?
A: Applicants will need to evidence their usual income, current income, fixed costs and proof of trading prior to 11 March 2020. This can be evidenced by submitting company accounts, tax returns and bank statements for March, April or May 2020. A copy of a lease/licence for those in a shared workspace will be required. Failure to provide correct information could result in any grant awarded being withdrawn.
Q: When is the LADGF application closing date?
A: The application form will be open to eligible applications until 5 pm on Friday, 17th July 2020.
Q: I cannot access the application online easily. Is there another way I can submit my application?
A: The application process is online only via a secure electronic form on our website.
All information and guidance provided by the Government is in electronic format. Given the limited application window, we are unable to provide hard copies of the documentation. If you have any specific issues with the online application form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I cannot evidence a significant drop in income, can I still apply?
A: Being able to evidence a significant drop in income due to Covid-19 crisis is a requirement of the grant. Please see www.eastdevon.gov.uk/Discretionary-Business-Grant for full details on eligibility.
Q: I cannot evidence high fixed property costs, can I still apply?
A: Being able to evidence relatively high fixed property costs is a requirement of the grant. These costs must be a minimum of £200 per month.
Q: Will town/parish councils and other non-commercial organisations be eligible for this fund?
A: No. Only organisations with a commercial operation (selling goods and services in a competitive market) can apply.
Q: Businesses based in a residential dwelling may take fixed property costs to include their house mortgages. Could support be given to these businesses?
A: Although these types of businesses can apply (assuming they meet the mandatory criteria), the application form only allows applicants to input commercial property related costs. These do not include costs for properties used primarily for residential or other non-commercial purposes. B&Bs and guesthouses can include these costs, as the property is used primarily for a commercial purpose.
Q: Does the applicant need to be registered for non-domestic rates (NDR) or pay business rates to be eligible?
A: No, you do not need to pay business rates.
Q: Are those who received a £10k or £25K grant under the previous small business grant schemes (Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund) who need additional support able to apply?
A: No. The mandatory criteria set out in the Government’s guidance prevents local authorities from awarding grants to anyone who is eligible for these previous grant schemes.
Q: Can businesses that started trading after 11 March 2020 apply?
A: No. The mandatory criteria set out in the Government’s guidance prevents local authorities from awarding grants to anyone who started trading after 11 March 2020.
Q: The web form says I’m ineligible for support / my application has been rejected. I am not happy about it and would like to speak to someone.
A: The web form should have told you why you are not eligible. If you completed your application and it has been refused, the response email you received should have explained why your application was unsuccessful. If you wish to question a decision, please email email@example.com. Your enquiry will be logged but we may not be able to respond in a short timeframe.
Q: What are the grant bands?
A: Grants will be awarded at five fixed levels; £1k, £2.5k, £5k, £10k, £25k.
Q: What happens if an applicant forgot to upload adequate information and wants to send additional documents post-application?
A: Applicants can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide additional information. They must include their case reference number in the title of the email. Failure to provide correct information could result in any grant awarded being withdrawn.
Q: Will it be on a first come first serve basis?
A: No. As we are unable to award grants to every eligible business we cannot give an advantage to those who are able to submit their application faster than others. Grants will be issued in order of prioritisation rather than speed of submission.
Q: How will an applicant know if they have been successful?
A: The applicant will be notified by email as to whether they have been successful and when they can expect to receive payment. This will happen as soon as possible, but not until all applications have been received, verified and evaluated.