East Cambridgeshire District Council has published details of its third round of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, which has widened its eligibility criteria to support more businesses affected by national restrictions.
The ARG scheme is designed to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions in place from 26th December 2020 – 15th February 2021 that have not been eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
The ARG is a discretionary funding scheme managed by the district council to support businesses during periods of lockdown relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants will be paid as one-off grants and are for businesses who experienced a loss of income of over 30%, that was directly related to, or as a result of, the Tier 4 and national lockdown restrictions in place between 26th December 2020 and 15th February 2021.
These businesses must be either a customer-facing business whose primary activity is the sale of goods or services to the public on a face-to-face basis that were able to remain open during restrictions and lockdown but were severely impacted, or a business that does not have a business rate account that was legally required to close during Tier 4 or national lockdown restrictions.
Ineligible businesses include those allowed to be open that do not rely on offering in-person services, businesses that have chosen to close but not required to and businesses that are unable to demonstrate a significant loss of income of at least 30% due to COVID-19.
A full list of businesses that were required to close can be found on the GOV.UK website. If your business was legally required to close and you do have a business rates account, you may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant.
Councillor David Brown, Chairman of the Finance and Assets Committee, said:
“The council knows that this is a challenging time for local businesses, so we are pleased to be able to offer another round of discretionary funding for those who have not been eligible for previous schemes.
“We urge businesses to check their eligibility in order to ensure they receive the funding they are entitled to. It is also important to note that the eligibility for these grants is not the same as the Local Restrictions Support Grants and the Closed Business Lockdown Payment and aims to open up funding further to those who have not been recognised by these grants.”
As part of the ARG scheme, closed businesses that do not have a business rates account may be entitled to £5,000 if they are a community facility such as a village hall, £5,000 if they operate from a domestic property or £6,000 if they operate from a commercial property.
Open customer-facing businesses, with or without a business rates account, that were allowed to be open during Tier 4 restrictions and the national lockdown but were severely impacted, are eligible for a £4,000 grant.
Businesses that meet the eligibility requirements for the ARG scheme, can prove that they were open for business as usual before 26th December, have suppliers or customers that were required to close from 26th December and can demonstrate a loss of income of 30% or more, are invited to submit an application to the District Council.
Businesses can apply online, by requesting an application form by emailing email@example.com or by telephone by calling 01353 665555.
The closing date for applications for the scheme is 5pm on 19th March 2021.