The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary funding scheme for local authorities to support businesses in their local economies during periods of lockdown relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) funding for businesses with a business rates account that are forced to closed.
East Cambridgeshire District Council has been awarded £1,796,800 for the ARG scheme. The payment is for the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years. Once we exit national lockdown the Council will not receive additional funding if we re-enter national or local restrictions.
For the ARG grants in November 2020, the Council will prioritise those businesses the Government have identified for this scheme:
- Those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. This could include – for example – businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.
- Those outside the businesses rates system that are legally forced to close.
Businesses and venues which must close
Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, gokarting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect.
To be eligible for this grant, your business must:
- Operate in East Cambridgeshire.
- Have been open for business as usual before the restrictions came into force on 5th November 2020.
- Have relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs. Fixed property costs can include, rent or a mortgage for the business property and other costs, such as fees for the hire of premises. Domestic dwelling costs are not included.
- Have experienced a significant loss of income directly related to the national lockdown restrictions.
Businesses will be required to provide evidence of their fixed property costs and loss of income.
Businesses which supply to industries forced to close (retail, hospitality and leisure or the events industry), must demonstrate in their application that at least 75% of their revenue derives from these customers.
- Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely.
- Businesses that have chosen to close but not been required to.
- Businesses which have already receive grant payments that equal the maximum levels of EU State Aid permitted under the De minimis and the COVID-19 Temporary State Aid Frameworks.
- Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made.
Making an Application
The Council is inviting eligible businesses, within the two priority business categories, to submit an application to the Council. You can either do this online or by requesting an application form by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by telephone on 01353 665555.
The two priority categories and the grant allocation details are as follows:
|Those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. For example – businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.||£2000|
|Those businesses that were legally required to close because of lockdown regulations, but do not have a business rates assessment.*||£2000|
*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. If you require an application form for this grant scheme, please email email@example.com or telephone 01353 665555. Please do not use the online link for the Additional Restrictions Grant.
These grants will be paid as one-off grants to cover the 28 day period from 5 November to 2 December 2020.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on 2nd December 2020.
After the closing date, if funds remain, the Council will review the scheme and open a further application round.
There is a requirement for all grants made under this Additional Restrictions Grant scheme be State Aid compliant.
Managing the risk of fraud
The Council will not accept deliberate manipulation or fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money may face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error. All information is subject to internal and external audit checks.
By applying for an Additional Restrictions Grant all applicants give authority to East Cambridgeshire District Council to share data for efficient system administration and to protect the Public Purse, subject to the GDPR. This will include sharing data with Anglia Revenues Partnership and other Local Authorities.
The Council will be required to share data with Government Departments for monitoring and other reasons. By applying for Additional Restrictions Grant all applicants give authority for this disclosure.
Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore funding paid under the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.