The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. The scheme provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG. Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.
However until recently businesses in the events sector had not been specifically mentioned with the guidance. Fortunately, this week the guidance on the ARG grant has been updated to specifically include tourism and events businesses that are not eligible for other grants.
Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.
This could include:
- businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
- businesses in the tourism and events sectors
- business required to close but which do not pay business rates
They then went on to further specify events industry suppliers within the tourism sector in the following paragraph. The wording now reads:
Local Authorities are encouraged to support businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions, but are not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme. This may include, but is not limited to, group travel and tour operators, other tourism businesses (including B&Bs and event industry suppliers), wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), wraparound care providers, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding. This list is not directive nor exhaustive, and Local Authorities should continue to issue grants at their discretion, based on local economic needs.
The new domestic subsidy allowance for the COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021. Applications made prior to that date are subject to the previous rules.
This scheme is covered by 3 subsidy allowances:
- Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
- COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
- COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance – if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met
Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).
Find out more here.