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NEWS: Business Grants review extends eligibility for funding

Wednesday 3rd February 2021

NEWS: Business Grants review extends eligibility for funding

A review of the COVID-19 Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme has been launched by Richmond Council – benefiting not only those operating from a business premises, but also those based at home.

Richmond upon Thames has been allocated £5.72m by the Government for the ARG scheme, designed to support businesses who are not eligible for other forms of financial support. So far, the Council has assisted nearly 5,000 businesses, awarding over £50m.

Grants are now available for those businesses who were open for business on the 16th October 2020, the day before Tier restrictions started, and then although not mandated to close, were still financially impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. To qualify, businesses must not have been forced to close in Tiers 2 and 3 or lockdown, meaning they were not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) CLOSED schemes but also were not eligible for the LRSG OPEN scheme (which was for Hospitality, Leisure, Hotels and B&Bs). For example, dry cleaners, local convenience stores and other businesses classed as `essential retail` will benefit from the new ARG, as long as their business income was affected. Businesses that supply hospitality retail or leisure businesses may also be able to benefit.

Additionally, businesses operating out of domestic properties that have fixed on-going non-property related business costs will also be eligible as long as they can show loss of business-related income due to the impact of the Tier restrictions Businesses have until 31 March, to apply for a one-off grant.

Read more about the eligibility for the grants and apply.

Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance for Richmond Council, said: “Our priority is those eligible businesses which have not yet been able to claim any other grants. They have been able to stay open during the lockdowns, but their businesses have taken a big hit.

“We want to make a difference to the local businesses hardest hit by loss of income because of Tier Four or lockdown, who have also struggled because of a lack of targeted Government support. We know many of them have fallen between the cracks and we want to put that right.”

As a reminder to those businesses that have been forced to shut as a result of the lockdown restrictions, grants are available now to apply for on the council website including the Closed Business January Lockdown Support Package which has grants of between £6,001 and £13,500 depending on business scale.

For businesses not forced to close, with fixed ongoing property related costs and were not previously eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme, they can receive:

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Additionally, businesses with fixed ongoing property related costs will receive the following one-off payments if they have not been able to secure assistance from any reliefs or grants offered since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020:

Awards are graduated according to the level of fixed ongoing property costs as set out below:

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For businesses operating from domestic properties with fixed on-going non-property related business costs:
For businesses with non-property fixed costs of more than £2,000 p.a. but less than £5,000 p.a. – Award of £2,000.
Businesses with non-property fixed ongoing business costs of £5,000 or more – Award of £5,000.

These payments are one-time only payments.