Flooding: Help for Businesses

Published February 12, 2016 at 12:55

Boost for Business is running a Flood Recovery Grant Scheme to support businesses severely affected (either directly or indirectly) by the December 2015 flooding in Lancashire and the fund is open until February 28th 2016.

This grant scheme is to support small and medium sized businesses severely affected (either directly or indirectly) by the flooding of December 2015, to help businesses recover quickly and get back trading successfully and being sustainable. The support has been put together based on experience of supporting businesses during the previous flooding crisis in the country, and drawing on best practice identified elsewhere. Grants are not available for costs that should have been covered by insurance.

This funding is provided by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

Grants of up to £2,500 are available to aid the recovery of your business depending on turnover and number of employees.  More may be available by exception.

Any offer will be capped if necessary to ensure that state aid limits will not be exceeded. This is unlikely to affect you unless you have already received significant public funding.

Applications should be made as soon as possible. You should have spoken to your insurers before you apply. The final date for applications is 28th February 2016.

What can you apply for?

(These are examples only)

Specialist expertise

Expertise to help plan and/or implement the clean-up and recovery – for example accountant, architects, designers, IT consultants, specialist cleaners, hire of equipment etc.


Expertise to help the business trade again and implement a marketing plan – for example to produce a marketing plan, recreate customer records, reinstate electronic sales, marketing collateral or other practical marketing actions to help the business recover from the initial impact of the floods.

Interest Relief

Interest costs on new, rescheduled or existing borrowing plus set up cost.


Training of staff, for example to use new equipment or implement new processes. This includes the cost of trainers, materials and venues. Training which can be funded through existing public funding streams is not eligible.

Other Revenue Expenditure

Other revenue expenditure to support the recovery of the business.

Capital Expenditure

If your insurance company will not cover the full cost of a like for like replacement for equipment, this grant can be used to meet the deficit between the insured value you will receive and the cost of the equipment/stock.

Approximate costings may be used for the application to facilitate speedy submission and approval but these should be as realistic as possible.


Grants are available for small and medium sized businesses (up to 250 fulltime equivalent employees) in Lancashire flooded during the heavy rain of December 2015. The emphasis is on supporting businesses with fewer than 50 employees as they are more likely to have additional capacity issues. Eligible businesses will:

  • have been trading in December 2015
  • have been severely affected by the flood (either directly or indirectly)
  • be able to demonstrate viability prior to the flooding or on track to become so within one year
  • intend to continue trading and to maintain existing levels of jobs for a period of three years.

If you were not flooded but have been severely affected your situation will be looked at on a case by case basis.

If you were not flooded the following criteria apply:

  • If you experienced a prolonged disruption due to a loss of utilities – applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • If you were affected purely through reduced visitor numbers to the area then you will not be considered eligible.
  • Where there were structural reasons for the reduction in trade then your application will be considered eligible subject to a reduction in trade of at least 20% over a minimum of one month.
  • Where there is a structural reason for the reduction in trade and the effect is more severe a shorter period of time may be considered
  • Structural reasons for reduction in trade include, for example, bridge and road closures and customers not trading owing to flooding.
  • Factors which should be discounted when assessing impact include, for example, seasonal trading patterns, general economic climate and the fact that the grant funding will not cover costs that are covered by insurance or reasonably could have been and some of the costs/loss of trade could have been covered by business interruption insurance for loss of attraction or prevention of access.

State aid:

Businesses in sectors excluded from the De Minimis Block Exemption are not eligible for this scheme. Support for farming businesses is being covered separately by Defra.

This grant scheme falls within De Minimis so any grant amount must not take the applicant over the relevant De Minimis limit (200,000 Euros in a rolling three year tax period). For the road freight transport sector the maximum is 100,000 euros in a rolling three year tax period.

State aid includes, for example, European Funding, rate relief, deferral of VAT and income tax, other Government support.

What Next

You can apply by downloading and completing the application form and return it, along with a completed payee information form to info@boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk.

Boost Business Lancashire can help with your application – for assistance call 0800 488 0057.

Submit your application via email, with your certificate of business insurance (if applicable) and Payee Information Form, to Boost Business Lancashire who will process it. Boost Business Lancashire will then check the application, ensure all sections are complete and may contact you for further information.

Your application will then be passed onto the council for approval (or rejection). Once a decision has been made you will be informed of the outcome by Boost Business Lancashire, and if successful the payment will be processed by BACs transfer within a few days.

We don’t expect this process to take any longer than 7 working days. Should there be any queries, you may be asked for additional information which may delay the grant award decision.

Alternatively post your application to: Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, Suite 22, The Globe Centre, St. James Square, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 0RE.

What is not covered?

  • Recoverable VAT
  • Costs that are covered or reasonably could have been covered by insurance

The grant must be used to aid recovery from the impact of flooding and should form part of a considered business recovery plan. No application can be made as compensation for any loss incurred.


As you’ll appreciate as a tax payer, we do need to demonstrate that public money is being used properly, so you will need to provide expected outputs (like jobs saved). Boost Business Lancashire will help you specify these.

Conditions of grant offer

If successful in obtaining the grant a Local Authority Liaison Officer has the right to confirm that the grant was spent on the activities identified above and Lancashire County Council has the right to ask for the monies to be repaid if no receipts have been kept or monies have not been clearly spent as agreed/intended.


Any queries please contact Boost Business Lancashire on 0800 488 0057 or email info@boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk

Further information

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