The government has made funding available to Local Authorities so that they can provide grant support to businesses affected by the current lockdown. The two grants in question are as follows:
Local Restrictions Support Grant (“LRSG”)
The name is a little misleading, as this is actually available to all businesses that have been required to close during this national lockdown. Primarily this will be available to businesses providing non-essential retail, personal care facilities, hospitality venues and leisure/entertainment businesses.
The amount of the grant available is based on the rateable value of business premises, as follows:
£15,000 or less - £1,334
£15,000 - £51,000 - £2,000
More than £51,000 - £3,000
The amounts noted above cover the 4 week period to 2 December 2020. A business with more than one business premises can claim for each of their properties.
Local Authorities require a specific application to be made by relevant businesses, but they are also writing to those businesses they think it may apply to encouraging them to make such an application.
Additional Restrictions Grant (“ARG”)
This is a discretionary grant that is also being rolled out by Local Authorities. Most appear to be prioritising the LRSG noted above first, and are advising that details of the application process and conditions of the ARG will be announced in coming days/weeks.
This grant will be to support those businesses not eligible for the LRSG (either because they are not required to close, or possibly because they do not operate from rateable business premises), but which can evidence that the current national restrictions have had a significant adverse impact on their business.
Each Local Authority will have discretion to set the parameters of how much and to which businesses this funding will be made available (and the guidance from central government is very limited on how it should be applied), so we could see quite different approaches depending on where a business is located.
If you are a business that will be eligible for the LRSG or could potentially be eligible for an ARG, do please check your Local Authorities website for details of eligibility criteria, amounts of funding available, and how to proceed with an application.
By Chris Hill, Partner