If you are a business and don’t have a fixed premises, the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is the grant you should apply for via your Local Authority (council) in England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have received equivalent finance through the Barnett Formula for grants to businesses, we believe these will be distributed by local authorities along similar lines to England.
As you know we have been working with Government departments throughout the pandemic to raise the profile of our members. Although this grant is open to a pool of people we have fought hard to make BEIS and the Hospitality Taskforce aware that mobile, events & festival caterers need to be supported by this grant and would urge you to find out more from your council and apply for this financial support as it has been put in place for businesses like yours.
The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary funding pot and the events sector, including suppliers, are specifically mentioned in how Local Authorities can administer these support grants in paragraph 23 of the Government guidance. The whole document can be found here
“Local Authorities can determine how much funding to provide to businesses from the ARG funding provided, and exactly which businesses to target. However, we encourage Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help 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”.
As they are discretionary, they will vary from council to council so they may not appear to be as straight forward as the Local Restriction Grants.
Applicants will need to explain within their ARG application how their business has been “severely affected”. For example, a business that usually supplies most of its products or services to a sector which has been in lockdown since March 2020, should be able to justify a loss of income and would be eligible for consideration.
You may have to sign up to your council’s business network newsletter and check their social media accounts as they often post grant openings via social media as well as on their websites.
Some Local Authority websites are difficult to navigate but they should clearly signpost Coronavirus support on their homepage and should all have a search bar function.
As well as contacting your Local Authority, you can also contact your local LEP (local enterprise partnership) for information as they will work with your Local Authority – There is a useful map to help you locate your LEP here
Here are some examples from councils across the country:
http://www.hull.gov.uk/business/business-grants-and-funding/additional-restrictions-grant – open for applications
https://hackney.gov.uk/business-grants – launching mid-December
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50232/support_for_businesses_during_the_coronavirus_covid-19/2270/local_restrictions_support_grants_lrsg_and_additional_restrictions_grant_arg/5 – Applications are open now
It is essential that we are able to feed back to Government on the accessibility of this grant so we ask you to get in touch and feedback on your experiences. Please let us know if you have successful or not and of any challenges you experienced in applying for the grant via firstname.lastname@example.org