Essex Business Adaptation Fund (EBAF)

Who is eligible to apply to the fund, how much you can claim and details of the funding criteria for businesses that need to spend to adapt to coronavirus.


- About the EBAF Grant

- Apply

- Eligibility

- Grant amounts

- Spend exclusions

- Who can receive the grant

- How grants will be provided to businesses

- Tax

- Counter Fraud

- State Aid


About the EBAF Grant

Essex County Council (ECC) have provided £422,508 to help Uttlesford businesses adapt how they work and prevent further spread of Covid-19 to customers and employees.

Small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors can now benefit from up to £5,000 to adapt how they operate and help to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

Local businesses are asked to demonstrate how a grant would enable them to become more Covid-19 secure and ensure the health and safety of staff and customers.

Adaptations could include investing in ecommerce facilities, moving to a digital platform, supporting employees to work from home or purchasing ventilation equipment for their premises.

How to apply

You will need to upload proof of any quotations for work or expenditure after 1 June 2021, so you need to have that ready.

If you have previously received an adaptations grant, you cannot apply under this round of funding within two months of your previous payment.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first served basis. This fund runs until 31 December 2021 or until such time as the funding is exhausted.

We aim to process applications within 10 days of receipt but please bear with us while we process your forms as we are expecting to receive a large number of applications.

Please note that the grant can only be spent on works undertaken after 1 June 2021 and does not cover the purchase of PPE.

Approved expenditure must take place within 28 days of the grant notification

Grants under the EBAF scheme do not need to be paid back unless the claim is subsequently found to be fraudulent or is found to have not been used for the EBAF grant purpose. Essex County Council reserve the right to make random spot checks on grant applications and may require you to repay the money if it has not been spent on items included in your grant application or within the timescales. Please ensure that you keep all receipts for purchases.


We have full details and an application form.

Note: Applications close on 15 December 2021

Apply for an EBAF grant

We aim to process applications within 10 days of receipt but please bear with us while we process your forms as we are expecting to receive a large number of applications.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first served basis until the funding has been exhausted.


Your business must:

  • be located within the council's administrative area
  • have been open and trading on 4 November 2020
  • was required to close or severely impacted by the restrictions imposed
  • not be insolvent, in administration, or having been issued a striking off notice
  • qualify as one of the following:
    • "Micro" as defined by s384A (and not excluded by s384B) of the Companies Act 2006; or
    • "Small" as defined by s382 and 383 (and not excluded by s384) of the Companies Act 2006; or
    • "Medium-Sized" as defined s465 and 466 (and not excluded by s467) of the Companies Act 2006;
  • have all up-to-date and relevant certificate(s) to show compliance with laws and regulations relevant to its trade (for example a food hygiene certificate, a licence to sell alcohol, permission to operate a pavement seating area, trading authority)
  • be ensuring, and will continue to ensure, adherence to all Covid regulations
  • the EBAF grant will not constitute Unlawful State Aid

Grant amounts

This is how much grant you could receive.

Up to £1,000

Grants of up to £1,000 for items which are to:

  • promote that the business is open and Covid-secure such as signage, stencils, leaflets, advertising, web and mobile technology
  • train, upskill, or reskill staff in courses directly connected to or associated with the adaptions or changes being made for businesses
  • provide application, and associated costs, for obtaining a Fast Track Pavement Licence available through the local authority.
  • provide for the costs of purchasing and setting up contactless payment devices

Up to £2,500

Grants of up to £2,500 for items which can include the above, as well as:

  • improvements, adjustments, or expanding business premises so that they can continue to operate safely and in-line with government guidance

For example:

  • sanitiser stations/units, protective screens, barriers, or adaptations for serving food and drink
  • access improvements/ amendments, for example, motion sensor doors, queuing adaptations, one-way set-ups, or improvised waiting areas

Up to £5,000

Grants of up to £5000 for items which can include the above, as well as:

  • costs associated with enabling homeworking opportunities (i.e. digital equipment, office equipment)
  • costs associated with making business premises safer for employees and customers by reducing the risk of infection
  • costs associated with setting up and running an online presence where the business does not currently have an online presence, for example, digital technology platforms
  • costs associated with improving ventilation in the business premises to reduce the risk of infection
  • enabling the business to diversify operations, in order to reduce the risk of infection, including the purchase of equipment to enable this. Examples of eligible items include but are not limited to:
    • vehicles and personal transportation connected with supplying delivery services such as cycles
    • internal adaptations, for example, relocation of existing fixtures and fittings or services, potentially to support new ways of using the space to assist social distancing or diversified uses of premises
    • exterior furniture, shelter, heating, lighting, for example, tables, seating, benches, awning, canopy, patio-heaters, or interventions to support appropriately spaced outdoor service

No eligible business may receive more than £5,000 under this phase 3 funding round.

Spend exclusions

These are the things that are not covered by the grant:

  • equipment / adaptations which are not Covid-secure and do not follow the guidance and legislation set out by Her Majesty's Government
  • acquisition of land / buildings either directly or indirectly connected to making businesses Covid-secure
  • direct subsidy of customers purchases for example offering 50% off meals
  • consultancy, design and statutory application fees
  • professional fees (e.g. solicitor / surveyor / architect)
  • personal protective equipment (PPE), consumable items such as masks/gloves/sanitiser refill etc.
  • retrospective expenditure where works/items were already obtained prior to 1 June 2021

Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council reserve the right to determine which measures proposed by the applicant fall within the spirit of the fund and will therefore be eligible to receive an EBAF Grant.  This will be subject to available budget, demand and complexity.

Who can receive the grant

Government has stated that the person who will receive the grant will be the person who, according to our records, was the ratepayer in respect of the business at the effective date.  Where grants are awarded to businesses who are not liable for rates, we will decide who shall be awarded the grant.

Where we believe that the information we hold about the ratepayer at the effective date is inaccurate, we may withhold or recover the grant and take reasonable steps to identify the correct ratepayer. 

Where it is subsequently determined that the records held are incorrect, we reserve the right to recover any grant incorrectly paid.

Where any business misrepresents information or contrives to take advantage of the scheme, we will look to recover any grant paid and take appropriate legal action.  Likewise, if any ratepayer is found to have falsified records in order to obtain a grant.

Where there is no entry in the rating list for the business, we will have discretion to determine who should receive the grant.

How grants will be provided to businesses

In all cases, businesses will be required to confirm that they are eligible to receive the grants. 

We reserve the right to request any supplementary information from businesses, and they should look to provide this, where requested, as soon as possible.

An application for an EBAF Grant is deemed to have been made when a duly completed application form including the required additional evidence is received via our online procedure.

In order to fairly administer the scheme, we have decided that awards will be determined as follows:

a. Any business wishing to claim should complete the necessary form on our website. This will also include the provision of such evidence as required by us; and

b. All awards will be considered against the criteria laid down within this scheme on a first-come-first-served basis.

Scheme of delegation

Officers of the council will administer the scheme and the Section 151 Officer is authorised to make technical scheme amendments to ensure it meets the criteria set by Essex County Council and, in line with Government guidance.

Notification of decisions

Applications will be considered on behalf of the council by the Economic Development Team.

All decisions made will be notified to the applicant via email to the email address specified in the application.  A decision shall be made as soon as practicable after an application is received.

Review of decisions

The council will operate an internal review process and will accept an applicant's request for a review of its decision.

All such requests must be made in writing to the council within 14 days of our decision and should state the reasons why the applicant disagrees with the decision.  New information may be submitted at this stage to support the applicant's appeal.

The application will be reconsidered by a senior officer, as soon as practicable and the applicant informed by email of the decision.


Grant income is taxable but only businesses making an overall profit once the grant is included will be subject to tax.

We do not accept any responsibility in relation to an applicant's tax liabilities and all applicants should make their own enquiries to establish any tax position.

All applicants should note that we are required to inform Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of all payments made to business.

Counter Fraud

Local authorities will not accept deliberate manipulation and will work collaboratively across the region and nationally to share intelligence and resources to detect fraud.

Any business found to be giving false eligibility information or seeking to gain an additional grant will be investigated.

The council will recover money paid in error and fraudulent claims will be prosecuted in the courts.

State Aid

This grant will be subject to the new UK state aid business grant allowances set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement Article 3.4.