Additional restrictions discretionary grants

business support


Waltham Forest has been allocated approximately £6.5million in the latest round of grants, to be distributed by the end of June.

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For news of future developments on business grants, please subscribe to our business newsletter.

The Council intends to support as many local businesses as possible, in line with our Economic Recovery Plan and our Public Service Strategy. The application window will remain open until Tuesday 8th June or until all of the funds have been allocated (whichever is the sooner).

There are two grant schemes available. Businesses can apply for a maximum of one Hardship Fund grant and/or one Growth Fund grant.

The schemes are entirely discretionary, and the London Borough of Waltham Forest is permitted to determine qualification criteria and eligibility, based on local economic need.

We particularly welcome applications from businesses in the following categories:

  • Flexible workspace providers.
  • Businesses operating from shared/flexible workspaces.
  • High street retailers who have not been able to access previous Covid Relief Funds.
  • Suppliers to the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and events’ industries.
  • Cultural, Creative, Evening and Night-time Economy.
  • Business who provide online business support to other businesses.
  • Businesses providing re-skilling, training and education.
  • Registered childcare providers.
  • Home-based businesses.
  • IT and new tech businesses.
  • Environmental and green businesses.
  • Start-ups.
  • Social enterprises.
  • Registered charities.

How do I apply?

You can apply for either grant by registering through our grant portal

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More details below.

Hardship Fund

The Hardship fund provides additional financial help to otherwise viable businesses based in Waltham Forest, not eligible for other forms of financial support, or where the existing support can be demonstrated to be insufficient to ensure survival.

There are four levels of grant available based on the number of employees:

  • Businesses with between 0 and 5 employees (including sole traders) – up to £10k per grant.
  • Businesses  with between 6 and 20 employees – up to £20k per grant.
  • Businesses with between 21 and 49 employees – up to £50k per grant.
  • Business with 50 or more employees – up to £100k per grant.

Grants will be assessed and awarded on a first come first served basis.

Growth Fund

The Growth Fund is expected to be launched on the 17th May, and is targeted at post-pandemic recovery with grants aimed at businesses looking to invest and rapidly return to and exceed pre-pandemic levels of activity. Grants are available for businesses able to demonstrate high growth potential, and can be used for kickstarting production capacity, job creation and/or adapting to changes in markets.

They are also aimed at economically important businesses within priority sectors/locations (see above), able to demonstrate social responsibility. Additional consideration will be given to young entrepreneurs, and start-ups to stimulate and share ideas and inspire innovative thinking.

Am I eligible?

To apply for either of the grants your business must:

  • Submit an eligible application:  The application window will remain open until Tuesday 8th June or until all of the funds have been allocated (whichever is the sooner).
  • Be based in the London Borough of Waltham Forest: Be a business registered with a Waltham Forest postcode (or an HMRC registered sole trader with a Waltham Forest postcode) or, if registered elsewhere, able to evidence that the business primarily trades (e.g. more than 50% of turnover) within the Waltham Forest .
  • Be a currently trading business registered before 1st April 2021: A business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. For example:
    • Carrying on a trade or profession.
    • Buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover.
    • Continuing to trade online, via click and collect services etc.
    • Engaged in business activity, managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures.
    • Not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice or under notice.

What information do I need to provide?

  • Name of applicant – with proof of ID (photo drivers licence or passport).
  • Name of business.
  • Business Trading Address including postcode – if your business is registered outside of Waltham Forest, you will need to provide evidence that you mostly trade (more than 50%) within the borough.
  • Company Reference Number (if registered company), registered charity number or National Insurance number (if sole trader)
  • High level SIC Code 
  • Nature of Business.
  • Date business established (e.g. date of registration with Companies House, or HMRC if sole trader).
  • Number of employees (if applicable).
  • Cumulative total of previous funding received under all COVID-19 grants schemes.
  • Business bank account details – with statements that clearly show Acocount name, sort code and account number.
  • Proof of hardship – evidence that your business has suffered at least a 30% drop in trading income as a direct result of Covid-19, or other significant impact.
  • Information on how you intend to spend the money.

For the Growth Fund you will also need to provide:

  • A business, growth or Covid recovery plan.
  • Responses to the following questions (1,000 character limit per response):
    • Describe how will the funds contribute to local employment? Specifically, as a direct result of the grant, how many jobs do you expect to retain (i.e. jobs that might otherwise be lost without the grant) and/or create (new jobs that did not previously exist). Provide expected numbers (FTEs) and salaries.
    • Describe how the grant will enable your business to help Waltham Forest recover from the impact of Covid-19? For example, will you be implementing any new ways of working for your employees and/or customers?
    • Describe how the funds will support your business to help meet our 15 minute neighbourhood prioritiesFor example, will it contribute to local regeneration, environmental improvement or supporting local communities?
    • How will the grant help your business to contribute to the future of Waltham Forest? How have you contributed so far? Describe how your business is innovating.
  • Any other supporting evidence for the application.

After an application has been submitted you will be sent an email confirming submission, this will contain a six digit reference number. Please retain this number and use in any future correspondence.

Using the information provided by you, we will carry out due diligence checks, including local and national fraud checks, and review the evidence that you submitted to ensure the application qualifies.

How long will it take to pay a grant?

Hardship fund: We aim to review your application and complete due diligence as soon as possible. You will be notified as soon as your application is approved or denied. Applications will be assessed and approved/rejected on a first come first served basis. Once the funds have been fully allocated, no more applications will be accepted.

Growth fund: Applications will be assessed and scored once the application window has closed on 8th June. Decisions will be made by a decision making panel.

We are expecting grant payments to be completed by the 30th June 2021.

It is not possible to provide a precise turnaround time for payment as this is dependent on factors such as the number of applications received and the complexities of some businesses in relation to the eligibility criteria. 

Payments will be made to those who qualify by BACS. We will also write to you by email, stating the reasons, if your business does not qualify.

What happens if my application is declined?

Applications that do not sufficiently evidence eligibility for a grant will be declined. 

Applicants will receive an email setting out the reasons and where appropriate may be asked to submit a new application, provided improved evidence can be produced.

Who should I contact if I haven’t heard about my grant?

We expect to receive a high number of enquiries asking for updates and we recognise how vital these grants are to you – however we have limited capacity to respond to update requests, which takes focus away from processing grants.

If it is more than 15 working days since you have applied for a hardship grant, or if you have other queries about the Additional Restrictions Grant, please contact us.

Unless it has been more than 15 working days since your application, we will not be able to provide you with an update on the status of your application.

Beware of scammers Click to get info

Please beware of third parties offering to act on your behalf for a fee. The grant application process is free, straightforward and only requires you to provide information already available to you. Businesses should not need to pay third parties to access a grant. 

Scam emails are also being sent to businesses, falsely claiming to be from the Council, saying that businesses have been paid grants in error and they need to returned and include bank details for payments to be made. These emails should be ignored.