Business Support Grants

 
 West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant Scheme

In response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced that a further top up to the Additional Restrictions Grant would be made available for Local Authorities, upon the condition that they had fully spent their previous existing Additional Restrictions Grant funding allocation.

West Lancashire Borough Council have utilised funding to develop the West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant scheme. The aim of the scheme is to support businesses within eligible sectors, to assist with implementing new ways of working, and to aid in their recovery, post pandemic.

The scheme can also support eligible businesses with set projects in mind, that will enhance or improve a service or delivery area of the business, or for businesses looking to diverse into new technology, or to promote their business to help reach new audiences and customers. The West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant scheme will offer direct support to a business where it is needed most and help sustain its future.

The West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant Scheme is designed to provide financial support in specialist areas of business as follows;

  • IT/Digital Technologies: To improve a business or help the business to diversify to improve a service or process. It can also support development of a website or new e-commerce process, as well as implementing a new IT System or Process.
  • Purchase of new Equipment: to assist the business in offering a new product that will improve a service to enhance the working of the business. This must be a new product; no like for like products or products that are in disrepair will be considered. Capital Purchases cannot be made.
  • Marketing, Promotion & Training: to support with marketing / promotion campaigns, develop new branding, photography, support with training for staff, to enhance the business offer and help to improve their presence online or on the high street.

Eligibility

A business (including self-employed and sole-traders who run their business) may be eligible to apply for a grant under the Economic Recovery Grant scheme if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Was classified as trading as of 1st April 2021. Indicators that a business is trading are:
    • The business has staff working part time, full time, or on furlough
    • The business continues to trade either in person or online
    • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off, or subject to a strike off notice or under notice
    • The business is engaged in business activity; preparing for reopening or are reopen as normal, managing accounts, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures.
  • Located and trading within West Lancashire.
  • Be able to demonstrate how the business plans to use the funding applied for to improve or diversify their business offering, and provide evidence of this upon completion.

How much can you apply for?

If a business meets all of the criteria outlined above, then they may be able to apply for funding under one of the following grant levels for up to two areas of support:

Rateable Value or Business Circumstances Grant Funding Eligible Areas of Support
Home/Mobile workers & businesses in a shared space £500 to £1000 Maximum of 1
Exactly £15,000 or under £1,000 to £3,000 Maximum of 2
£15,000 - £50,999 £1,000 to £5,000 Maximum of 2
Exactly £51,000 or over £5,000 to £10,000 Maximum of 2

Please Note: Businesses will be required to pay for their chosen service up-front and provide evidence when the project is completed. When evidence is submitted, and verified by the Business Grants Team, a grant claim fund will be issued to be signed by the business owner prior to the funding being released to the business.

Retrospective funding of items/services already purchased prior to submitting an Expression of Interest will also not be considered.

One grant will be awarded per business not per property, irrespective of how many premises a business may operate from or own.

How to Apply

Please Note: The West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant will be opened and closed in phases, to allow our small dedicated team to carefully assess each Expression of Interest to determine their eligibility.

Phase 1 -  Closed

The first phase of the West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant was open for Expressions of Interest between 6 and 20 October 2021 to be submitted by those businesses who operate in or supply to the following sectors only;

  • Accommodation
  • Events
  • Hospitality
  • Leisure
  • Travel & Tourism

Now that the Phase 1 has closed, the Business Grants Support Team will be reviewing the Expressions of Interest submitted to initially assess their eligibility and will make a decision within 10 working days on whether they will be invited to submit a full application to fully assess their project and eligibility to receive the grant funding.

Phase 2 -  Coming Soon

The Business Grants Support Team will soon be looking to open a Phase 2 for Expressions of Interest to be submitted by those businesses who operate in or supply to the following sectors;

  • Accommodation
  • Events
  • Gym & Sport
  • Hospitality
  • Leisure
  • Personal Care
  • Retail
  • Travel & Tourism

It is expected that Phase 2 will be opened within the next next few weeks but a date cannot be confirmed at this stage. Any further details regarding a Phase 2 will be published on this page as soon as they become available. 

If you have any questions about the Economic Recovery Grant scheme please contact our COVID-19 Business Support Team via email

What happens if my Expression of Interest is approved?

If a business is told that their initial Expression of Interest has been approved, they will be invited to complete a Full Application, which will also be assessed. Once a Full Application has been submitted, the Business Grants Support Team will then make a final decision as to whether or not the application is approved or rejected, and if approved the business can continue with their project. 

If a business has been determined eligible for funding and the agreed level of funding has been accepted, a Grant Funding Agreement will be sent to the applicant which must be signed by the applicant and returned to the Business Grants Team. Only then, can the business obtain 3 quotes per item or service required; evidencing the cost of the support they are requesting. It is preferable, but not mandatory, that at least one of these suppliers are located within the Borough of West Lancashire.

There is a maximum number of 5 items per item or service requested. A business may select up to one or two types of support to apply for i.e. New Equipment, and Digital Technologies. Businesses should aim to submit their 3 quotes within 10 working days from being asked to complete their Full Application.

Businesses will also be required to pay for their chosen service up-front and provide evidence when the project is completed. When evidence is submitted, and verified by the Business Grants Team, a grant claim fund will be issued to be signed by the business owner prior to the awarded grant funding being released to the business.

What happens if my Expression of Interest is not approved?

If your eligibility cannot be determined based on the information provided on your Expression of Interest, the Business Grants Support team will contact you for further information regarding your project to make a final decision as to whether or not you will be invited to complete a Full Application.

If at any stage an Expression of Interest is not approved, the business will not be invited to submit a Full Application and will be informed of the reasons why in writing.

What happens if my Full Application is not approved?

If a Full Application is refused, the business will be informed of the reasons why in writing and they will not be allowed to re-apply. The Council's decisions regarding the scheme will be final and there is no appeal process.

Exclusions

The Economic Recovery Grant Fund will not fund the following areas of support:

  • Retrospective funding of items/services already purchased.
  • Expenditure for items/services that will not be completed and paid for within the time frames of the scheme. Projects must be completed by 31st January 2022.
  • Online training courses or attendances at training.
  • Reconfiguration of buildings in order to meet social distancing/Covid-19 Requirements.
  • Capital works to buildings and capital works to retail buildings i.e. signage or canopies fixed to the building premises.
  • Core cost/running costs of the businesses such as air conditioning installation or maintenance/cycle storage/showering facilities/locker facilities/rent/staffing costs.
  • Marketing material that is not specific to the business i.e. destination/ place marketing.
  • PPE Equipment
  • Planning and/or architecture fees
  • Purchase of vehicles or equipment/assets over £5,000 in value.
  • Consultancy fees to support applicants with applying for this grant.
  • Research and Development Costs.
  • Replacement of like for like equipment such as upgrading of equipment.
  • Ongoing costs for a service already in use – the service must be new to the business.
  • Payments for any monthly or annual contracts such as Internet, Mobile & Television subscriptions.
  • Costs considered to be day to day running costs.
  • Professional fees: HR/ Legal/ Product Development/ Financial management support/ Intellectual property support/ Marketing/Commercial photography.

Full details regarding the West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant, including information on Eligibility, Determination of Grant Amounts and Payments, required Evidence and Refusal of Grant can be viewed in the West Lancashire Economic Recovery Grant Policy (pdf, 889kb).

Prevention of Fraud

We may use any information provided for the prevention and detection of fraud under section 68 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 as part of the Government’s commitment to preventing fraud. Section 68 enables West Lancashire Borough Council to disclose information for the purposes of preventing fraud. Therefore any fraudulent cases will be result in prosecution and those found not to be entitled will have the grant withdrawn and reimbursement required.

The processing of personal data shared with West Lancashire Borough Council in any anti-fraud data matching exercise will be carried out with statutory authority under the powers vested in Part 6 of the "Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014". It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.

In addition, all data used and shared with external agencies including the Department of Work and Pensions, HMRC and the Her Majesty's Court Service etc. where relevant will be in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR.

 

Privacy Notice

West Lancashire Borough Council collects your personal information when you apply for any of the grants or payments for businesses due to COVID-19 and this privacy notice explains how we will use it.