Additional Restrictions Grant - January 2022

This Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is primarily aimed at businesses that have been significantly financially impacted due to the Government’s response in December 2021, to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, introducing international travel restrictions and implementing the Government’s Plan B restrictions.

This additional fund is aimed at businesses with ongoing fixed costs that are significantly financially affected by the above COVID-19 restrictions.

Timeline

Grants will be administered from 7 January 2022 to 23 January 2022 as a one-off grant payment. Applications for these Additional Restrictions Grants will need to be submitted using the online forms (link below).

Applications will be considered, and applicants notified of the outcome as soon as possible, with payments being made within five working days of the decision notification. Successful applications will be subject to fraud checks before any grant payments can be made.

This policy will be reviewed if the Government introduces further restrictions.

Who can apply?

  1. This funding is available for business that can demonstrate that they have been significantly affected by the Government’s response to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in December 21 (as detailed above) and have fixed costs which are not related to employment*.
  2. Only businesses located within the East Hampshire District Council area will be eligible for this scheme.
  3. The business must have been actively trading on 1 October 2021.
  4. Self-employed Taxi and Private Hire drivers licenced with East Hampshire District Council that live outside of the district and have not been able to obtain a grant from their own local authority due to local discretionary rules and meet the criteria for this scheme can apply.
  5. Discretionary Grants will be paid subject to subsidy regulations, meaning the business needs to check that they comply with subsidy rules and inform the council accordingly prior to payment being made. If subsidy rules are breached the responsibility lies with the applicant and, in line with the legislation, the council can take action to recover the funding.

* Fixed costs – any costs relating to the operation of the business that cannot be cancelled during this period. These could include costs such as rent for non-rateable commercial premises, utilities, insurance etc. Fixed costs do not include employee costs.

Who can’t apply?

  • Businesses that can continue to trade and can operate their services effectively.
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of subsidy permitted under the current government rules.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.
  • Precepting authorities

How will the grants be awarded?

Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis within the funding allocation limits of the scheme agreed by the council.

Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the following criteria:

  • The financial impact due to the Government’s response in December 2021, to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, has had on the business
  • Level of monthly fixed overheads
  • Supports the local community – i.e. facilities / services / supports a healthy and active community
  • Supports the local economy – i.e. employment
  • Supports the local environment – i.e. – green credentials

How much will my business receive?

Business can receive up to a maximum of £7,800 for any given property.

Indicative amounts for priority businesses:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grant to be £3,500
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grant to be £5,200
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grant to be £7,800

Where a property is part of a larger rateable value property, these will be set up to a maximum of the lower level of a one-off grant of £3,500.

For businesses that work from a residential property, rent a chair or equivalent, mobile workers, self-employed Taxi and Private Hire Drivers and B&B accommodation, these will be set up to a maximum of a one-off grant of £1,300 ***

** Property – a business that has more than one property will be eligible to apply for each actively trading property.

*** For businesses that work from a residential property, mobile worker or self-employed Taxi and Private Hire Drivers, fixed monthly costs for the purpose of this grant only includes business expenses and not any residential costs. A maximum of one grant per residential property. A copy of the Council Tax bill will need to be provided showing that they are registered for Council Tax. Evidence of registration with HMRC for self-employed tax purposes will also be required.

What evidence will I need?

All businesses applying for ARG (Discretionary) funding will be required to give details of income received in October 2021, November 2021, and December 2021. Businesses are also asked to provide a cumulative total of previous funding received under all Covid-19 business grant schemes - please note, providing this information is not mandatory.

Evidence of trading states is required from all businesses. This will be in the form of a bank statement (showing business/applicant’s name, registered address with income within the last three months).

Businesses that work from a residential property or are a mobile worker, a copy of the Council Tax bill will need to be provided showing that they are registered for Council Tax. Evidence of registration with HMRC for self-employed tax purposes will also be required.

The council places responsibility on the applicant to provide information that is correct to the best of their knowledge.

Tax

Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore funding paid under the Additional Restrictions Grants Fund will be subject to tax. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Subsidy rules

Both existing and previous UK law and Subsidy Control places restrictions on when a public body can provide financial aid to commercial entities. This grant is being made under several schemes that have been established by government to support businesses that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Financial aid provided by a public body is any ‘advantage’ granted by a public body through state resources and is governed by Subsidy Control legislation (formerly State Aid law) and any other guidance issued by government. The meaning of ‘aid’ is broad because an advantage can take many forms. Financial aid can constitute the following grants including:

  • Business Support Grants
  • loans
  • tax breaks, including enhanced capital allowances
  • the use or sale of a state asset for free or at less than market price

Financial aid is permitted where it is beneficial to the economy and supports growth and other government policy objectives and it can be given to support a wide variety of activities including research and development, environmental protection, and aid for small to medium-sized businesses.

The rules permit financial aid where it is necessary to deliver growth and other important objectives. The award of any financial sum paid to you must comply with any subsidy control legislation and/or state aid legislation (if applicable) and government guidance. If you have not received payments from any other public body, it is unlikely that you will be in breach of any laws relating to the financial aid that is provided to you by the council. If you have received payment from any other public body, please notify the council immediately as it could have an impact of the validity of the payment that is being made to you.

Please ensure that the application that you submit for financial aid from the council is accurate and truthful to the best of your knowledge. A failure to provide accurate and truthful information will entitle the council to recover from you any payments that are made. The council reserves the right to issue court proceedings to recover any payment made to you where it is determined that the payment was unlawful because of your failure to provide accurate and truthful information in your application.

Fraud

The council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error

All applicants’ information will be shared with the Government Grants Management team to enable any fraud to be identified. All businesses will confirm this by ticking the box on the application.

Appeals

There are no further appeals rights for the grant, the council’s decision is final.

Queries

If you require support or advice in relation to the Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary) Fund, please email: business@easthants.gov.uk