New grant scheme targets small and new businesses hit by Covid-19

Woman serving from a mobile catering van.
The scheme targets small and new businesses hit by Covid-19.

If your mobile or home-run business has been affected by Covid-19 - and you’ve not yet been entitled to financial help from government – you may be eligible for a new Rotherham Council funding scheme.

The local scheme will mean these businesses - as well as some people who are freelance or self-employed – can receive grants of £500, which may be topped-up if the £664k funding pot is not claimed in full.

Applicants do not need to have been forced to close but simply to demonstrate that Covid-19, or the resulting government restrictions, have had a significant impact on their finances. The fund is even open to businesses that are too recently registered to qualify for central government support.

The eligibility criteria include that the business/trader should be:

  • able to demonstrate financial hardship related to Covid-19 and/or the resulting government-imposed restrictions on economic activity
  • able to evidence significant ongoing business costs
  • a micro or small business (fewer than 49 employees)
  • unable to access existing government business or self-employment support schemes.

The Rotherham Discretionary Business Support scheme will remain open until 31 January 2021, unless all the money is claimed sooner. Any funds remaining at the end of this period could be used to provide top-up payments.

Councillor Saghir Alam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Finance at Rotherham Council, said: “Small businesses are a vital part of Rotherham’s economy, and I’m pleased that we are able to make these local grants available to those who have not been able to access financial help via the other schemes.”

"We recognise that all our local businesses will continue to need support to survive and recover, and that many very small or new businesses have not been able to access national funding. These micro-enterprises are our focus with this scheme. If you work for yourself, you’ve been adversely affected over the last few months, and you’ve not received government financial support through any other route, I would urge you to see if you qualify for this funding for a bit of extra support over the coming weeks."

Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, added: "This round of funding is strictly limited, and applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis, so I urge all businesses who are eligible to apply as quickly as they can."

The £664k allocated to Rotherham Council, from which it will make these grants, comes from the £30m fund secured by Sheffield City Region from the Government when the region entered the very high (Tier 3) local alert level in October. The £30m fund has been divided between the region’s local authorities to support a number of schemes to help businesses that were not eligible for national schemes.

Other support schemes already available through Rotherham Council include support to:

  • businesses paying rent or rates that were forced to close by tier 2, tier 3 or national lockdown restrictions
  • businesses paying rent or rates whose trade was directly impacted by tier 2, tier 3 and national lockdown restrictions
  • businesses paying rent or rates that form the supply chain of those sectors directly impacted by tier 2, 3 and national lockdown restrictions
  • licensed taxi drivers.

For details of all the business support available via Rotherham Council, or to make an application, visit


Published: 14th December 2020