Discretionary Business Grant (DBG)

What is the Discretionary Business Grant (DBG) scheme?

The Discretionary Business Grant (DBG) is a scheme funded by central government aimed at small businesses who have experienced a significant fall in income because of Covid-19, that have ongoing fixed property-related costs and are currently outside the scope of the existing Government business grant schemes.

The allocation for Bexley is £1.762m.

This is very welcome support but we know that demand will be high and we are unlikely to be able to help everyone who applies. Because of this, it is essential that applicants complete the forms promptly, accurately and in full as we will not have capacity to pursue any errors or omissions.  

Applications to this grant fund have now closed.

We want to make payments as quickly as we can so the closing date is Thursday 2 July (5pm). This will be brought forward if applications are clearly in excess of funding.

Should I apply?

You should consider applying if your business:

  • has a trading address in the London Borough of Bexley (you can check at Find your local council) – not just a registered office
  • was trading on 11 March 2020
  • is not currently in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking off notice 
  • has not received and is not eligible for the following government grants
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (for those in properties up to £50,999 RV)
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund
  • has less than 50 employees (staff headcount) across the whole business
  • has ongoing fixed commercial property costs (including rent/mortgage, service charges, utility bills and buildings insurance)
  • has experienced significant (i.e. 50% or more) loss of income during the Covid19 lockdown period
  • is in one of 5 priority business categories, as set out below:
  1. businesses in serviced offices, flexible workspaces, co-working spaces but not separately rated for Business Rates (NNDR)
  2. regular market traders (with weekly pitches in the borough)
  3. small charities (in premises with Rateable Value (RV) of £15k or less)
  4. retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses occupying rateable property over £51k RV (up to £150k RV inclusive)
  5. day nurseries in premises rated for Business Rates (NNDR)

It is essential you are able to demonstrate that your business or charity meets the above criteria. If not then you would not be eligible so please do not apply.

You will also not be eligible if:

  • your businesses that have exceeded State Aid limits, i.e. have received more than €200,000 in Government funds/support over the last three years
  • your business has significant reserves

If you are not eligible, please consider other grants and business support as listed on our Bexley for Business Covid19 Support Pages.

How much funding will be provided to eligible businesses?

  • the total amount available for this grant is £1.762m
  • the limited amount of funding available for this grant means that we will only be able to support a limited number of businesses
  • to support as many eligible businesses and groups as possible the amount awarded will range from £1,500 to £10,000 per business depending on nature and size
  • only one grant per business is permissible, regardless of the number of properties occupied in the borough

How will the Council make decisions on my application?

Applications received will be checked against the criteria above.

For categories 2, 3 and 5 applicants providing evidence that their business meets all the required criteria will be eligible to receive a grant of £1,500 or £2,500. We are setting aside £195k for these categories and anticipate grants will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis.

For categories 1 and 4, where it is proposed to make higher grants, in addition to the core criteria we will take account of additional information supplied in your application.

What types of businesses will be considered?

The following types of business will be supported. For each category, we have set out additional selection criteria and the levels of grant award available.

Criteria and the levels of grant award
Category Specific criteria to be applied Grant available (per business How will decision be made

Category 1:

Businesses in serviced offices, flexible workspaces, co-working spaces but not separately rated for Business Rates (NNDR)

  • occupying commercial space (not a home-based business)
  • private enterprise trading as self-employed, partnership, Ltd company or a CIC

We will also take the following information into consideration to assess applications from this category:

  • proportion of your employee headcount that live in London Borough of Bexley
  • the business employs or has employed apprentices or trainees from local area
  • the business has not received significant assistance with fixed property costs (e.g. rent discount)
  • the level of cash reserves available to the business (we would expect reserves of not more than 10% of annual turnover)
  • the business was a viable concern prior to Coronavirus

£2,500 to £10,000 depending upon annual turnover

Turnover under £500k = £2,500

Turnover £500k - £999k = £5,000

Turnover £1m or above = £10,000

Applications will be evaluated after the closing date unless we receive very high volumes in which case that date will be brought forward. They will be assessed using the additional information supplied. Successful applicants will be awarded a grant based on the latest full-year business turnover.

Category 2:

Regular market traders (with weekly pitches in the borough)

  • usually pays a fee or rental on a pitch within LB of Bexley on a regular basis (at least 2 days per week, 50 weeks per year)
  • private enterprise trading as self-employed, a partnership or a Limited Company
£1,500 Applications meeting all relevant criteria will be awarded a grant, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Category 3:

Small Charities

  • registered with the Charities Commission
  • occupying premises with rateable value of no more than £15,000
£2,500 Applications meeting all relevant criteria will be awarded a grant, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Category 4:

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector businesses

  • the main trading address of the business must be in London Borough of Bexley
  • must occupy rateable property in LB of Bexley with rateable value (RV) of between £51,000 and £150,000 inclusive
  • the main activity of the business must be included in the list provided in government guidance for the existing Retail Hospitality and Leisure grant
  • private enterprise trading as self-employed, partnership, Ltd company or a CIC

We will also take the following information into consideration to assess applications from this category:

  • proportion of your employee headcount that live in London Borough of Bexley
  • the business employs or has employed apprentices or trainees from local area
  • the business has not received significant assistance with fixed property costs (e.g. rent discount)
  • the level of cash reserves available to the business (we would expect reserves of not more than 10% of annual turnover)
  • the business was a viable concern prior to Coronavirus
£10,000

Applications will be evaluated after the closing date unless we receive very high volumes in which case that date will be brought forward. They will be assessed using the additional information supplied. 

Category 5:

Day Nurseries

  • registered with the Local Authority and Ofsted as an Early Years provider
  • private enterprise trading as self-employed, partnership, Ltd company or a CIC
  • occupy business rateable property (are liable for Business Rates / NNDR)
£2,500 Applications meeting all relevant criteria will be awarded a grant, on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the application process?

  • applications will open online Thursday 18 June 
  • applications will only be accepted through the online form provided on this page
  • eligible businesses will have a maximum two-week period to submit their application online – with a closing date of 5pm Thursday 2 July.  However, the Council reserves the right to close the application period earlier if it becomes clear the number of applications already exceeds available funding
  • businesses will need to provide evidence in support of their application. The evidence required will vary according to the category you are in. A list of the information and documents required is provided below. You must be as accurate and complete as possible in your application. We will not have capacity to come back to you if your application is incomplete
  • once you have submitted your application you will receive an automated acknowledgement confirming your application

What information may be required to support application?

Businesses may be asked to provide the following evidence with their application:

  • a form of photo identification such as a passport or driving licence
  • Certificate of Incorporation or Confirmation of self-employed status from HMRC.  For Charities your Charities Commission registration number. For Day Nurseries, your Ofsted registration Unique Reference Number
  • evidence of your ongoing fixed property costs, such as copy of the lease, licence, rental agreement or commercial mortgage statement, plus evidence of rental or other property payments 
  • a copy of your last full year Company accounts (showing turnover) or a copy of your business Self-Assessment tax return if applicable to your business. Alternatively, business bank statements from start of trading if business is less than 12 months old
  • financial evidence showing the fall in income experienced by your business because of Covid-19, such as: up to date business management accounts covering the last 12 months (showing profit and loss, turnover, cash flow and balance sheet); copies of business bank account statements for March to May 2020 and those for the same period in 2019, or if you have not been trading this length of time, bank statements since you started trading
  • utility bills and supplier invoices related to the trading address for February and March 2020 (to demonstrate you were trading on 11 March 2020)
  • if available, anonymised business payroll information for March 2020 showing the number of people employed and paid by the business at that time

You will also need to provide your current bank account details registered to the business name applying to enable us to pay the grant via BACs should you be successful.

Please ensure you have all relevant documentation ready to upload when you make your application. Due to the huge administrative task of processing applications, you will not be able to submit additional documentation via email at a later stage. Incomplete information is likely to deem an application invalid.

What happens after my application is submitted?

  • using the information provided by you, we will carry out due diligence checks and review the evidence that you submitted to ensure your business qualifies. Speculative, false, fraudulent or incomplete applications will be rejected
  • it is not possible to provide a precise turnaround time for payment as this is dependent on factors such as the backlog of submissions, the complexities of some businesses in relation to the eligibility criteria and external factors such as bank payment processing times
  • applications from businesses in categories 2, 3 and 5 are likely to be processed more quickly
  • applications from businesses in categories 1 and 4 will be subject to additional evaluation in addition to reviewing evidence and undertaking due diligence
  • payments will be made to qualifying businesses by BACS
  • if you do not hear from us after 4 weeks from the closing date, please assume your application has been unsuccessful

Can I appeal a decision about my grant application?

There is no right of appeal and the Council’s decision will be final. 

Fraudulent applications

The Council reserves the right to independently check information provided by applicants and request further information if required. If found to be false after an award has been made, we will institute recovery processes for the repayment of any monies paid and consider taking appropriate legal action. In addition, the Council reserves the right to recover any payments made in error.

Important: Beware of scammers

Please beware of third parties offering to act on your behalf for a fee. The process is free, straightforward and only requires you to provide information already available to you. Businesses and charities should not need to pay third parties to access a grant.

We are aware that scam emails are also being sent to businesses, falsely claiming to be from the Council, saying that businesses have been paid grants in error and they need to be returned and include bank details for payments to be made. These emails should be ignored.

The London Borough of Bexley takes your privacy seriously. This notice sets out what we will do with your personal information and who we may share it with.

How we use your information

We collect your information to undertake assessment of applications for Local Authority Discretionary Business Grants and to enable us to make payments for those successful applications.

In doing so, we may collect:

  • Contact details (name / address / telephone number)
  • Financial Information about your business
  • Information about staffing in your business
  • Copies of business bank statements to prove your business address and financial status
  • Your latest business accounts
  • Unique Tax Reference Number
  • Company Number / Charities Commission number / Ofsted Unique Registration Number (as applicable)
  • Copies of Identification documents (e.g. copy of passport photo page or driving license)

The personal information you provide will not be used for any other purpose unless required by law, to prevent or detect crime or to protect public funds.

Length of time we keep your information

We will keep your personal information for 7 years from successful award of the funding (6 years plus the current year)

Sharing your information

So that the Council can provide you with an efficient service, we may occasionally need to share your information with partner organisations that support the delivery of the service you receive. This may include organisations such as OneSource who are contracted to the Council for management of payments and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who are the governmental sponsors of the Discretionary Grant and with whom we are obliged to share monitoring information about the operation and outcomes of the scheme.

Where information is shared, the Council has written agreements and protocols in place to ensure that your data is secure and protected to the same levels that the Council requires. 

Your information may also be shared with authorised bodies where the Council is required to do so by law or to protect public funding from fraud. This will at all-times be in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018

Retention & Transferring of data outside of the EU

We will at all time hold your information securely, in hard copy format, electronically or both.

Your personal data will be kept secure by the Council and will be kept within the European Economic Union (EEU). Where the Council uses a third party to store your personal data and it is stored outside of the UK/EEU, the Council will ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to keep your personal data secure.

Individual rights

You have a number of rights under the General Data Protection Regulations.  To exercise these rights, please contact

  • By email discretionarygrant@bexley.gov.uk
  • Or write to Economic Development Team, London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT

The Data Controller for your information

The Data Controller for information you provide for this services is the London Borough of Bexley and the Data Protection Officer is Nick Hollier, Data Protection Officer, London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT.

You can contact the Data Protection Officer

  • By email to data.protection@bexley.gov.uk
  • Telephone 0208 303 7777
  • Or write to them at London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT

The right to lodge a complaint

If you are not happy with how we have handled your personal data, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner's Office to make a complaint.  You can:

  • Telephone them on 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
  • Visit their website at www.ico.org.uk
  • Write to them at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF