INSTRUCTIONS

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This will give you their email address, social handles, phone number and website URL

We recommend that you email this letter to your MP by copying & pasting the text in to your email to them.

Subject line for your email: ARG grants are failing my sector

Please cc in opinion@ncass.org.uk when you send the email

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THE LETTER

Dear (name of MP)

I am writing to you following the Budget announcement.

I have an (delete as necessary) event catering / festival catering / wedding catering / mobile catering / mobile bar / street food / market business and have not been able to trade as I normally would for the past year due to the pandemic.

Due to the nature of my business, I do not have fixed premises and therefore did not qualify for the Government grants that were based on ratable value, I am also self-employed / a sole trader (delete if necessary).

In November, the ARG grants were announced and created some hope for our sector especially as the guidance for local authorities form the government stated, in paragraph 23 that:

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”.

That said, it seems that this guidance is too open to interpretation and therefore local authorities are not able to understand and administer these grants to the businesses that need them.

I applied for an ARG grant in (month) and was rejected by (local authority) because (why it was rejected).

In order to survive, I am having to (explain your situation in more detail)

It has been reported recently across the media that 87% of the original £1.4b allocated for ARG grants, to help businesses like mine, has not been allocated and the government are now topping this fund up by £425m.

If we are not going to receive sector specific grants to keep our businesses going and are not being given the same ‘restart grants’ as bricks & mortar businesses, then the huge issues with ARG grants across the country must be addressed.

Our sector has been left to fall through the gaps again, surely there is a better way to support us?

Thank you and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on this,

(INSERT YOUR NAME & ADDRESS)

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