Published: Monday, 30th November 2020
The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, aimed at businesses which have been forced to close or limit trading during the second coronavirus lockdown, is now open.
The scheme can be applied for through the borough council website and will include support for businesses which, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19 because they are part of the supply chain for businesses who have had to close. This could include, for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.
Also considered will be businesses outside the business rates system, which are effectively forced to close or can demonstrate their income and business activity has been impacted by the restrictions. For example, market traders, self-employed and home workers. Parish and Town Councils are eligible if they meet the criteria.
Self-employed people whose trading income has been impacted as they have had to close due to the national restrictions, or because they directly supply businesses who have had to close, may also qualify for a grant.
In phase one of the funding, support for businesses with significant operations in or supplying the following sectors has been prioritised:
- Hospitality, tourism
- Leisure, venues, events and cultural activities
- Supply chains relating to businesses that have been forced to close
- Businesses/sole traders outside of the business rate system
- Businesses that are not required to close but have been severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising
Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Public Protection said: “We know how hard this lockdown has been for many businesses. Our priority with the Additional Restrictions Grant is to support eligible businesses which have been unable to access other business grants during the national lockdown."
Cllr Graham Middleton, Cabinet Member for Business Development, added: “I know of some businesses that for one reason or another have so far fallen through the net when it comes to business grant support to help them through the pandemic. I would urge any business that fits this description to check their eligibility for this new scheme and apply as soon as possible.”
The funding will be delivered in four phases:
- Phase 1 National Restrictions Grants for period 5 Nov to 2 Dec - £1,250,000
- Phase 2 Tier 3 Grants post 2 Dec - £750,000
- Phase 3 Retention to provide support in case of further economic shocks/lockdowns/restrictions during 2021/22 - £500,000
- Phase 4 Wider Business Support/Recovery support 2020 to 2022 - £500,000
The grant applications for Phase 1 are open until 4:00pm on 16 December 2020 (two weeks after the end of the lockdown).
Under Phase 1 of the policy, the following cannot claim a grant:
- businesses who qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant
- businesses who were already closed at the time the restrictions came into force for other reasons. For example, businesses who had ceased trading or seasonal businesses
- businesses who've chosen to close but who have not been mandated to by government
- businesses who remain open despite being mandated to close
The grant cannot be claimed as a replacement for, or to supplement, the Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.