I am already receiving Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) payments, can I apply for the ARG?
The ARG is principally for businesses that have not received LRSG payments available to businesses required to close by law during periods of National Restrictions. We will consider applications to top-up those grants only from businesses with over 10 employees (full time equivalents).
I have not been forced to close during the recent National Restrictions, can I still apply for the ARG?
This grant is available to support some of the businesses that have been severely impacted during the pandemic so far. You can apply for the ARG if the sales income (turnover) to your business has reduced due to Covid by at least 20% or £40,000. Your answers in the application will determine your eligibility for a grant payment, and submitting an application is no guarantee of receiving a grant.
What periods should I compare when declaring the percentage or value of the reduction in income to the business?
We are giving businesses the opportunity to state how much their business sales income has been impacted throughout the pandemic to date. We would suggest that you compare 23 March 2020 to date, with the same period in 2019. If you were not trading for that period last year, please compare with whatever period is available to you to substantiate your losses.
If you choose to only present the reduction in income for a shorter period please compare with the same period the previous year, or with an immediately preceding period.
I am self-employed, or a Director paid through dividends, and have not had any support so far, can I apply?
If your business has experienced a reduction in income of at least 20% or £40,000 due to the pandemic from March 2020 to date then you can apply.
How much money will I get in my ARG grant?
The amount of money offered through the ARG will be determined by an assessment of the information set out in your individual application. Your level of reduction in income, and the number of employees the business supports and the level of fixed costs of the business are examples of factors that will be considered. You may also be asked for evidence to verify the claims you have made about your circumstances.
We expect the majority of grant payments to be of £2,000, but there will also be grant payments at different levels with a few as high as £20,000. Larger grant awards will tend to be to businesses supporting more jobs, and with significantly reduced income.
My organisation is part of a national chain, can I access the ARG funding?
Through this local discretionary ARG scheme we set out to support local businesses. National retailer chains are not eligible for the ARG funding.
My business has had a bounce back loan, will this impact my application for an ARG payment?
We will not consider loans including the ‘Bounce Back Loan’ in our assessment of your application to the ARG. We will consider Covid-19 related grant payments though, these include the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant; the Small Business Grant; the Local Discretionary Grant; the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The value of these awards should be taken into account by you in declaring your loss of income – this is illustrated by an example in the webform.
I am an employee of my own company as the Director, how should I put this down on my application?
If you are the only employee within the business, then please select ‘I am the only person supported by this business (e.g. self-employed or director only company)’.
If you are one of multiple employees then select the appropriate total banding, for example, if you are employed along with nine other full-time employees then select 10-19 employees.
I have only been trading since September 2020, can I still apply for the ARG?
As long as your business was trading on a day that National Restrictions or Tier 4 Local Restrictions came into force (e.g. 5 November, 26 December or 5 January) and meets the other qualifying criteria, you can apply
Another business in the same sector as my business has received a larger grant payment than me?
Each application to the ARG is looked at on an individual basis and determined by a number of factors that make up the circumstances of that business. Two businesses in the same sector may easily differ by their number of employees, percentage or value of reduced income, fixed costs and previous support received.
I don’t have my Business Rates account reference to hand, do I need to provide that?
If your business operates from rated premises it would really help us if you could look up that number from the last bill that you received (you will receive an annual bill for rated premises even if you’re not required to pay). We will be cross-checking against business rate records as part of the process of verifying applications.
If your business doesn’t operate from premises that are valued for business rate purposes you won’t be prompted to input a reference but will need to give your business address.
Who sets the rules for the ARG?
The Government provide local councils with the Additional Restrictions Grant funding, but the Council is given a great degree of discretion/freedom in how it wishes to support businesses and the local economy. This means we set most of the rules.
If I do receive a grant as a result of an application submitted under Phase Two will I receive further grant payments?
In providing funding to local councils, the Government has made clear that this money must be used to provide financial support both now and during all future national and local restrictions through until March 2022.
We will use 80% of the funding to provide discretionary grants to more and more businesses, which we aim to pay out by the end of April 2021. We have increased grant award values to recognise the fact that the impact of the pandemic has extended with periods of restrictions lasting longer than previously anticipated. We do not expect that we will be able to make further payments to existing recipients after phase two within the funding provided by Government in November 2020 and January 2021.
Remaining funds will then be used for wider business support schemes as we seek to help the local economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.
How quickly can I expect to receive payment if my application is successful?
Our aim is to assess and pay claims within 10 working days of the business submitting the application with all the necessary supporting information. Where any aspect of the application is unclear or information is missing the process may take longer.
My business doesn’t seem to fit the support opportunities set out under Phase Two of the ARG – what should I do?
We have set out the Additional Restrictions Grant to be available to all sectors of business, to businesses that are rated and to those that are not, and to businesses of almost all sizes including the self-employed.
Generally those who cannot apply will tend to be:
- Those rated businesses which have already received support from the LRSG schemes (the ARG is there to complement those schemes)
- Those that have already received support from the ARG
- Those upon which the impact has not been so severe as to lead to a reduction of income of at least 20% or £40,000 (the Government asks us to focus the money on those businesses that have been “severely impacted”). Most businesses we are supporting have been affected to a far greater extent than these threshold values.
If your business is in one of those positions, we regret that we are not currently in a position to offer you financial support. Find coronavirus financial support for your business.