The High Street Fund, set up to help small businesses affected by last month’s rioting, has had applications for funding from just 25 shop owners.

According to the Sunday Times, 18 of the 25 that have applied have received a £2,000 grant to help cover bills and at least half could receive extra funds of up to £10,000.

The High Street Fund was set up in August to help small businesses affected by the riots that hit England last month. A coalition of businesses and London boroughs, supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson, clubbed together to create the charitable fund that aims to offer immediate cash support to smaller businesses affected in the riots.

On Friday it was announced that energy giant Shell had donated £500,000 to the fund. The fund, has now raised more than £4m.

Sir William Castell, chairman of the Wellcome Trust and head of the fund, said that up to 1,000 small businesses might qualify for help and urged businesses particularly outside London to apply.

He added: “It seems London has got the message, thanks in large part to Boris Johnson, but we need to get the message to Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.”

Claims can be made using a form that can be downloaded from the High Street Fund’s website