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Small Business Support Fund

The Small Business Support Fund is a discretionary grant fund for small businesses that were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund – apply now.

What is the Small Business Support Fund?

The Government has allocated £2 million for Lewisham and we have been working to determine the fairest way for this to be distributed to businesses most in need across the borough.  

The Lewisham Small Business Support Fund will help local charities, social enterprises and small businesses which have experienced a significant decrease in income as a result of the pandemic and have not yet received financial support.

We have four funding categories:

  1. Charities identified by our Revenue Services as in receipt of charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for 100% Small Business Rates Relief. £5,000 per organisation.
  2. Small businesses and social enterprises in shared offices or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own business rates assessment. £5,000 for those employing fewer than ten people, £10,000 for those employing ten or more people.
  3. Small businesses and social enterprises in the Cultural, Creative and Evening and Night Time Economy sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000. £5,000 for those employing less than ten people, £10,000 for those employing ten or more people.
  4. Independent grassroots, small businesses or social enterprises that make a considerable impact to the local economy and the vibrancy of our high streets and town centres. These ‘growth builders’ support a significant number of jobs, encourage footfall and trade in the area and are crucial for our local economy’s growth and strategic regeneration. Grants up to £25,000 per organisation.

Organisations can only apply for one of the grant funding categories.

Who is eligible for the Small Business Support Fund?

General criteria

Your business must:

  • be based in the London Borough of Lewisham
  • be a small business, charity or social enterprise with employees
  • have relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
  • occupy a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value, annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. This does not apply to the 'growth builder' funding category.
  • have suffered a significant and demonstrable fall in income due to COVID-19
  • have been trading on 11 March 2020.

Your business will not be eligible if:

  • you are in receipt of the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund
  • it has more than 49 full-time-equivalent employees
  • it has an annual turnover of more than £10.2 million and have a balance sheet total of more than £5.1 million
  • it is in administration, insolvent or have a striking-off notice.

We cannot guarantee all applications that meet the eligibility criteria will be awarded a grant.

Assessment criteria

We anticipate there will be high demand for the Small Business Support Fund so we will use the following criteria to assess applications:

  • Number of employees – protecting jobs is a priority so we will ask how many employees your business has.
  • Financial status – businesses who demonstrate a significant and sustained loss on the their income statement.
  • Growth potential – businesses who demonstrate future resilience and opportunities for growth.
  • Social value – businesses that demonstrate commitment to the local community through quality employment and training opportunities and the London Living Wage.
  • Sustainability – businesses that demonstrate a commitment to local sustainability and support for our transition to a net zero economy.

The above criteria is in order of priority.

How do I apply?

Please make sure you read the above criteria carefully to check that your organisation is eligible and that you are applying for the correct category.

You can submit download the application form and email it to us or you can submit the application online.

Charities do not need to submit an application because we will contact eligible charities directly.

Applications that do not meet all of the general criteria cannot be considered.

Download the application form

Download the relevant application form below and send it to lblfinsupport@lewisham.gov.uk

Along with the application form you need to send the following supporting evidence:

  • documentary evidence of ongoing fixed property-related costs that your business has experienced since the beginning of the current crisis, For example, business rates, rent or mortgage payments, machinery or equipment rental costs, utility bills, buildings or contents insurance
  • business bank statements for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020
  • profit and loss statements for April 2019 to March 2020 (Xero/Sage/Quickbooks or equivalent)
  • most recent balance sheet (Xero/Sage/Quickbooks or equivalent).

Apply online

Submit an online application form for the relevant category

You need to have a My Lewisham account to apply. You will be prompted to make an account or sign in when you begin the online application.

If you have weak internet connection you may have trouble with the online form. In this case, please download the form above instead.

What happens next?

We intend to make payments to successful applicants by 17 July 2020.

Send any questions relating to the Small Business Support Fund to lblfinsupport@lewisham.gov.uk.