Apply now: urgent coronavirus funding available for Hackney businesses

Businesses affected by coronavirus will have one week to apply for up to £10,000 in funding after Hackney Council today reopened a £3.4m grant scheme ahead of a Government-imposed deadline next month. 

The Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at small businesses who have experienced a significant fall in income due to coronavirus and still face ongoing fixed property-related costs and are not eligible for previous Government business grant schemes launched in March. There are two levels of grants – up to £10,000 for small businesses and up to £5,000 for micro businesses.

Since it was launched by the Council in June, nearly £1.3m has been paid to 245 businesses, and hundreds more applications are still being processed. But with some funding likely to still be available, the Council has now reopened the fund. 

The Government told councils earlier this month that applications must be made by 28 August, with funding paid by 30 September, otherwise money would be returned to the Treasury. These restrictions were not communicated when the scheme was set up.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy
We know how much businesses in Hackney need support as coronavirus continues to take its toll on our local economy. 

We were pleased that central Government responded to our appeal to make a fund available for the many businesses who found themselves excluded from the initial business rates grants distributed in March and April. 

It’s frustrating that the Government, without any discussion, have unexpectedly set an arbitrary deadline for this grant programme to finish and have said that any money left over is to be returned to them.  

Hackney Council is determined to distribute the fund to businesses rather than return it to the Chancellor. So, as of now, we are reopening the application portal, and if you missed the original deadline then you now have the opportunity to apply. 

Remember to get your application in before the Government imposed deadline kicks in – midnight on 28 August and pass on the word – apply now and let's keep this money in Hackney!
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy

Existing applicants should not apply again, and will be contacted on the outcome of their case by 30 September. Around 250 applications are still being processed, while 119 have been rejected for a variety of reasons, such as not meeting the eligibility criteria or not being able to demonstrate they are a trading business in the borough. 

Businesses that have already received grants through the Small Business Grant Fund, or Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund are not eligible to apply. More than £62million has been distributed to thousands of businesses by the Council since March through these funding programmes.

Applications for the reopened Discretionary Grant Fund will close at midnight on 28 August. To apply, and to view eligibility criteria, visit the Discretionary Grant Fund page.