On 2 May 2020 the Government announced announced a new funding allocation for businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The Discretionary Business Grant is aimed at small and micro businesses that were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. 

Our discretionary grants form is live.

Before you begin the online application form for a discretionary grant, please ensure you have fully read and understood the guidance notes and the eligibility criteria.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be closing the application form to new applications at midday on Sunday 5 July. We are not able to process new applications after that time.

Government Guidance

Grants may be made to the value of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000, at our discretion. We will calculate the appropriate level of funding for each business based on the financial information and any supporting documents with the submitted application. Once processed, businesses will receive a grant offer stating the value of grant they are due. The grants are primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • small* and micro** businesses
  • businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
  • businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis


The Government has asked us to prioritise the following types of businesses:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces
  • regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Whilst Government guidance sets out some mandatory eligibility criteria, it also provides scope to target the grants in accordance with local economic circumstances and priorities. The priority sectors for North Devon are:

  • manufacturing
  • food and drink
  • creative industries – including digital
  • businesses who operate in, or whose main or sole customer base is those in retail, hospitality or leisure

This grant funding is for businesses who meet the above criteria that are not eligible for other support schemes. Businesses that are eligible for cash grants from any central government COVID related scheme (apart from Self-Employment Income Support Scheme/Statutory Sick Pay and Furlough Scheme) are ineligible for funding from the Discretionary Grants Fund. Such grant schemes include but are not limited to:

  • Small Business Grant Fund
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • The Fisheries Response Fund
  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
  • The Zoos Support Fund
  • The Dairy Hardship Fund

Next Step

If you feel you do meet the criteria for this fund, please proceed with an online form. To help you complete the form, you will need to have the following information available:

  • your full business/private bank account details
  • your Unique Tax Reference, Company Number or Charity Number, where applicable
  • your Business Rates Reference Number or Council Tax Reference Number, where applicable
  • you need to be able to provide estimates of your monthly business costs – so having a copy of your utility, rent/mortgage bills to hand will help
  • an estimate of expected income during April 2020
  • a copy of your bank statement – from March and April 2020 (you will need to be able to upload this)
  • a copy of your most recent accounts or tax return, where applicable

Apply for a discretionary grant

We are being inundated with emails so please read the eligibility criteria thoroughly. If you are still unsure whether you qualify for a grant, please email our Economic Development team at economicdevelopment@northdevon.gov.uk for further guidance.

*Small business

  • Turnover: not more than £10.2 million
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than £5.1 million
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50

**Micro business

  • Turnover: Not more than £632,000
  • Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000
  • Number of employees: a headcount of staff of not more than 10