COVID-19 Recovery Grants from the London Business Hub

Due to the large volume of applications we received for the COVID-19 Recovery Grants, we have paused accepting new applications at this stage. This will allow us to make an initial assessment of remaining funding.

Should further funding be available, we will provide a week’s notice of the grant reopening dates via our website, newsletter and our social media channels.

We recognise that this is very disappointing news for those who were looking to apply and appreciate that many people will have invested significant time and effort in this process.

However, we have several new programmes which will support businesses across a wide range of issues, including helping SMEs access funding and negotiating property agreements which may be relevant to you. 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.


 

If you have not yet submitted an application and would like to prepare, please see the checklist below:

  1. Read the Frequently Asked Questions to check your eligibility and what the grant can fund
  2. Check what information is required for the application
  3. If you meet the requirements of the grant scheme, start to prepare the information for your application

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible SMEs can access grants of between £1,000 – £5,000.

What is the process for applying to the grant?

  • Applications open at 10.30am on Friday 16th October 2020. A link to the full application will be made available on the London Business Hub website.
  • Applications will be reviewed and assessed on a first come, first served basis. Bids will then be assessed and prioritised based on need and impact. We will also work to ensure that grant recipients supported by this funding reflect London’s diverse business community.
  • 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, payment will be made to 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.

We will close applications when we reach the limit and that from these applications, it will be a competitive process. Applications that best demonstrate the following will be prioritised.

  • 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. If eligible applications exceeds available funding, bids will also be prioritised in order of date/time received. 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].”  Should a second tie break situation occur between the groups facing barriers, the applications, between these groups, that were submitted at the earlier time/date will be prioritised.

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-

Once applications have been opened, the application process may be paused temporarily depending on the volume of applications received and the amount of funding remaining. If applications are paused, an initial assessment will take place of all applications submitted to date and the remaining amount of funding will be reviewed. Once this initial assessment has been completed and if funds remain, applications will re-open until the remaining funding has been allocated. We will give one week notice if the grants reopen for applications and will update this web page as well as communicate the new date via social media.

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?

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.

Free webinar available to support your application

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

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?

The London LEP Area has the following funds to allocate:

Visitor Economy: £377, 210

Wider Economy: £1,081,112

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

 

Related Resources

COVID-19 Recovery Grants from the London Business Hub – Frequently Asked Questions
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