COVID-19 Recovery Grants from the London Business Hub

The London Business Hub COVID-19 Recovery Grants are now closed.

We recognise that this is very disappointing news for those who were looking to apply.

However, we have several programmes open that support businesses across a wide range of issues, such as accessing funding, negotiating property agreements and building business strategy. These include:

Recover & Grow’, a business support programme in partnership with the Business School (formally known as CASS), supporting 240 SME leaders

Property Advice Service’, helping new and established SMEs to negotiate leases with free advice from property consultants

Peer Networks’, providing 240 business with facilitated ‘action learning’ group sessions and 1:1 support

Mayor’s Resilience Fund’, a £1m package of innovation grants for SMEs as part of the recently announced London Resilience Fund

As well as our existing programmes which include:

One to one adviser’ support and webinars on a range of topics (for eligible businesses)

Investment Readiness Programme’ supporting early stage businesses as they navigate the complex process of securing finance from external investors

Start Up, Step Up designed to help Londoners access entrepreneurship and improve their enterprise skills at this critical time for our economy

Please do keep an eye on our website, which also has other guidance and support to help support your business goals. We hope that you will be able to find the support you need. If you wish to keep up to date on all the latest news from the London Business Hub, please register for our newsletter.

What is the process for applying to the grant?

  • Applications will open at 10am and remain open for a 24hr period on the 17th November. Please ensure that you have SUBMITTED your application by the cutoff point. Applications not submitted by this point will not be considered. Please allow ample time to complete the application form. Applications will close as stated above and any applications that are in progress and have not been submitted by the deadline will not form part of the ballot.
  • Due to feedback received and the high demand for the limited available funding, a random ballot system has been introduced. This means only those selected at random will be assessed and then prioritised based on need and impact.
  • We will endeavour to communicate a decision within 10 working days of application submission.
  • A grant offer letter will be sent to eligible applicants.
  • Eligible applicants will have one calendar month, from the date of the grant offer letter, to accept the offer and purchase and receive the support/items that the grant has been approved for and submit a grant payment claim.
  • Once a complete claim has been submitted and approved, with all relevant evidence provided, we will endeavour to pay the SME within 5 working days.

Please also be aware that the grant cannot retrospectively fund activity that has already started.  Your application must include a quote for the activity you wish the grant to fund but you cannot commission the work until your application has been confirmed as successful and you have received and grant offer letter.

Applications selected through the ballot process will be scored against the following points:

  • A clear impact of COVID-19 on your business.
  • Your proposed activity to address the impact.
  • How the proposed activity will positively impact your business through adapting products and services to meet customer needs, building resilience or minimising future business interruption.

Once bids have been assessed against eligibility criteria and prioritised on evidence of need and impact. In addition, and in order to support our work to address the barriers faced by BAME, women and disabled owned businesses[footnote 1], eligible applications from these groups will be prioritised against other bids ranked equally in terms of need and impact, should a tie break situation occur. This will ensure that successful bids are representative of London’s population demographics [footnote 2].”

Footnote 1: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/equality–diversity-and-inclusion-evidence-base

Footnote 2: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/london-s-diverse-population-

Who is Eligible?

All applicants will need to confirm the following to be able to access the online application form:

  • Their business is based and operational in Greater London (the business must at least have a London trading address).
  • Their business is a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME).
    • Less than 250 employees.
    • Less than €50m turnover or balance sheet of €43m.
    • Does NOT hold 25% or more capital or voting rights in another business.
    • Does NOT have another company hold 25% or more capital or voting rights in the business.
  • Their business started trading on or before 1st March 2019 and is still trading.
  • Their business has not received a total of €200,000 State Aid in the past 3 years (What is State Aid?)
  • The activity the business is applying for is to assist with COVID-19 recovery plans, and is not “business as usual” or related to personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, or other regulatory activity.
  • Their business has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
  • The grant support is vital to progressing the activity the business is applying for (i.e. the activity wouldn’t be possible without the grant support).
  • The applicant’s project has not already started the activity to be claimed under the grant (and cannot have started before the grant offer letter has been issued).
  • Confirm they understand that ONLY those applicants who complete a full application and supply ALL supplementary evidence will be considered for a grant.
  • Confirm they understand that the grant will be paid in arrears. Businesses can apply for 100% of the costs, but please note that funding will be paid in arrears. Therefore, grant payment will be made after you have accepted the grant offer and have purchased and received the support or items that the grant has been approved for.
  • Confirm they understand that they have one calendar month from the date of the grant offer letter to accept the offer and purchase and receive the support or items that the grant has been approved for.
  • Confirm that there is a dedicated bank account for the business.

What will I need for an application?

Please note that a full breakdown of the questions asked during the application process is available in the FAQs – section “Application Form – FAQs”.

Ensure you have the following information available:

  • General business information such as registered address, trading address (if different from registered address), website, date your business started trading, number of employees.
  • Company registration number OR Unique Tax Reference OR Other evidence for business registration.
  • Relevant SIC Code for your business. What is a SIC Code?
  • Dedicated bank account for your business, and accompanying bank statement (March 2019).
  • State aid information relating to your business in the last three years.
  • Business turnover and profit for the last financial year and current financial year, including a Profit and Loss summary from April 2019 to March 2020 (or most recent data) and a Balance Sheet from April 2019 to March 2020 (or most recent data).
  • 1 quotation for all work/purchases to be funded via the grant, if successful.

Answers to the following questions (it is important that you give enough detail to demonstrate the need for this grant):

  • Brief overview of your business activity, products and services.
  • Details of how your business has been affected by COVID-19, including details of the issues/challenges your business faces.
  • How will the grant funded activity help your business recover from the impact of COVID-19?
  • Details of the selected support provider, rationale for choosing this. supplier, and details of when you anticipate to make your first purchase.

Webinar available to support your application

Watch the COVID-19 Recovery Grants webinar recording which covers in more detail the grant criteria, the application process and Q&As.

Please note the following changes to the application process since this webinar was recorded.

  • Applications for the grant fund will now be staggered as below;
    • Wider Economy Fund – Opening on 17th November at 10am and closing 18th November at 10am.
  • Please note under round 2, applications will be selected for assessment via a random ballot and not on a first come first served basis (as described during the webinar).

Click here to access it.

We highly recommend you watch the webinar prior to submitting your application as grants are only offered to applicants who submit a complete and eligible application.

How much grant funding is available in London?

Please note the funds are extremely limited and based on the remaining funding pot sizes, this would amount to approximately the following number of grants available to those businesses who are successful in obtaining the grant:

Wider Economy (remaining fund £104,567): Between 21 -36 grants

FAQs

You can find answers to more frequently asked questions about these grants here.

Terms and Conditions

  • Grants must be claimed within one calendar month of you receiving confirmation that your application has been accepted and your grant offer letter issued.
  • You are able to pay for all services/activity before the activity starts and within one calendar month of receiving your grant offer letter.
  • You are free to choose your supplier. You should choose a supplier that best meets your business needs providing you can confirm there is no conflict of interest. Applicants are, however, encouraged to use local, London-based suppliers, where possible. The grant must cover 100% of the service your business is procuring. This grant cannot be used to part-fund expenditure.
  • You must not have already started the activity that the grant will fund, and the grant activity cannot start before the grant offer letter has been issued.
  • You may be asked to supply further evidence to demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

Contact

You can email grantenquiry@capitalenterprise.org to ask questions regarding the scheme, however due to the volume of enquiries, response rates may be slow. Therefore, our advice would be to ensure that you have watched the webinar and read the FAQs fully before doing so.

If you require help during the application process please call 020 8144 1068 to speak to one of our advisors. Please note opening hours Mon-Fri – 9:30am-5pm

We cannot provide a status update on your submitted application and we cannot guarantee the timescale in which we will respond to queries due to the volume of contact we may receive.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome within 10 working days of application, Unfortunately, due to the volume of application forms, we cannot offer feedback to those who haven’t been awarded a grant.

If you need support to access this information or with completing the online form, please email grantenquiry@capitalenterprise.org

 

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