Second lockdown grant scheme for businesses
- By Elaine Bird
- 30 November 2020
- North-West Norfolk
The Additional Restrictions Grant fund opens to help more eligible businesses affected by the national lockdown restrictions.
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 link to the Borough's site for claimants is: https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/homepage/341/additional_restrictions_grant
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. (Editor's note: Having checked with the Borough Council asking: 'Does this mean that anyone who has claimed either of these is unable to access this new fund?', the officer stated: "They can still claim this grant. What they can’t do is claim the grant as a replacement for the SEISS or CJRS because they don’t qualify for those schemes."
The grant will be payable per 28 day period of national lockdown restrictions. It will be based on the same rateable value limits as the Local Restrictions Support Grant, as follows:
- rateable value up to and including £15,000 per annum = grant of £1,334
- rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 per annum = grant of £2,000
- rateable value of £51,000 per annum and over = grant of £3,000
If the business does not have a rateable value we'll make a reasonable estimate of a rateable value based on the size of the business and its fixed property costs. ‘Fixed property costs’ means the rent or mortgage due on the distinct premises the business is occupying. If there are no separately attributable property costs, the grant is not payable.
Grants for self-employed people will be paid at the flat rate of £1,000 per business/trader.