COVID-19 Business Finance Update 4 May 2020

Additional Small Business Discretionary Fund 

Following on from the announcement of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (which launched today), the government announced at the weekend that a further £617 million would be made available to local authorities to provide financial aid for small businesses. 

Local authorities now will be able to make grants to small businesses with ongoing fixed property related costs, but which do not qualify for the existing business rates relief.

The aim of the fund is to provide financial assistance to those businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, charities that would meet criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Local authorities also have the discretion to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. 

There are three levels of grants: 

  • £25,000 
  • £10,000 
  • Discretionary under £10,000 

To qualify for a grant a business must: 

  • be small, 
  • have fewer than 50 employees  
  • be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to coronavirus restriction measure. 

Businesses should contact their local authority if they believe they are eligible for a grant. 

Please let us know if you have any difficulties with applying for a grant. 



Launch of Bounce Back Loan Scheme 

The new loan scheme for small businesses was launched today 

A review of the main bank websites (NatWest, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds) shows that the scheme application process is accessed from their Business Banking pages and we expect that this will be the same for most lenders. 

You are recommended to approach your existing lender in the first instance as demand is expected to be high and each bank will prioritise their existing customers. 

The British Business Bank website has been updated with details of the scheme, the accredited lenders, and a comprehensive list of FAQs: 


If you have any issues in applying for a loan through this scheme, then please speak to your usual contact at Rayner Essex for assistance or fill out the form below and we will get in touch. 


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