Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs employing less than 250 FTEs) and charities in Leeds affected by the Covid-19 crisis have another chance to apply for discretionary grant funding with the fund reopening for a further four weeks, from 3 August until 28 August.

Phase one of the DGF scheme opened on 1 June for a period of four weeks. Between 1 and 28 June, the council supported more than 364 organisations, with £2,360,000 of funding being provided to businesses and charities.

Businesses which did not receive funding in the first phase now have until Friday 28 August to apply. Grants will be available up to a maximum of £10,000.

Applicants have to be an SME or charity with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and be able to demonstrate a significant impact of the pandemic on their business. This second phase seeks to support a wider cohort of businesses, including some of those that were not eligible in the first phase so we encourage businesses to check the eligibility criteria as you may now qualify.

Check if you are eligible. Your business or charity can apply for a grant if:

  • it has not received any other coronavirus funding – no change
  • it was trading on the 11 March 2020 – no change
  • it has less than 250 employees - changed from 50 employees
  • it occupies all or part of a non-domestic property – no change
  • the property has a rateable value of less than £71,000, or your annual rent or mortgage payments are less than £71,000 – changed from £51k
  • it has yearly fixed property costs of £4,000 or more – changed from £8,000
  • it is expecting to lose 25% of revenue between March and September 2020 due to coronavirus – no change
  • All businesses will be required to make an application for a grant via when the scheme officially reopens today. The eligibility criteria will be available on the webpage.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We realise how difficult times are for businesses as they continue to be affected by the pandemic. The reopening of the Discretionary Grant Fund is welcome additional support and will allow a number of businesses who may have previously missed out or not been eligible in phase one to benefit this time round.

“I would encourage all businesses who have not yet applied to make themselves familiar with the eligibility criteria and the information they need to submit a successful application before the closing date”.

The scheme will be open for four weeks, and may be closed earlier should the demand and interest from eligible grants outweigh the pot of money the council have been provided to distribute. The council will aim to process applications within 20 working days, but this will depend on the levels of demand experienced, and on all the correct information being submitted by applicants.