Content

Q1. What is the purpose of the Additional Restrictions Grant?

This grant is aimed at:

  • businesses which were legally required to close during the national restrictions period from 5th January 2021 to 15th February 2021, but which do not pay business rates.
  • businesses which were not required to close (rated and non-rated) but which were severely impacted by the national restrictions and have certain amount of fixed business costs.

Q2. What are the eligibility criteria?

Eligible businesses should have been solvent and trading normally on the 4th January 2021 and:

  • were required to close from the 5th January to 15th  February 2021 and do not have a business rates account;
  • can evidence being severely impacted by the national restrictions through a 30% drop in turnover from 5th January to 15th  February 2021 (not through seasonal fluctuations, other reductions or losses);
  • can evidence minimum fixed business costs of £250 per month.

Q3. Which businesses are not eligible to apply?

The following businesses will not be eligible for the scheme:

1.   Businesses which can obtain a grant for the 5th January to 15th February period of national restrictions under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum Scheme

2.   Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the COVID-19 Temporary State Aid Framework

3.     Businesses that were in administration, insolvent, where a striking-off notice had been made or were not trading normally immediately prior to the 5th January 2021

4.     Business that cannot evidence a min of £250 fixed (non-residential) costs per month

5.     Businesses that cannot evidence a drop in turnover of at least 30% as a direct consequence of the national restrictions (significant impact)

6.     Any properties or parts of properties used for personal use (for example, riding stables)

7.     Buy to let properties

8.     Any premises where the Council consider that a Bed and Breakfast business is basically “home sharing” and advertised solely online through “home sharing” websites

9.     Charitable business receiving other help from public funds

10.   Businesses whose primarily trade comprises:

-        Show homes

-        Car parking

-        Storage containers

-        Containers

-        Storage premises, Yards, land or properties used for storage only

-        Advertising or advertising stations or hoardings

-        Communication stations or telecommunication equipment

-        Solar panel sites

-        ATM’s, cash machines or equivalent

-        Schools / Academies / Educational establishments and premises (which are publicly funded)

-        Lockers; Beach huts or similar structures

Q4. What guidance is available?

Whilst Government guidance sets out some mandatory eligibility criteria, it also provides scope to target the grants in accordance with local economic circumstances and priorities. Please refer to the ARG policy document for the full eligibility criteria in East Devon local authority area.

Q5. What is the definition of ‘severely impacted’?

‘Severely impacted’ is defined as a clear and obvious drop in business income and/or trade of at least 30% as a result of the national restrictions (from 5th January to 15th February 2021) compared to the period prior to those restrictions or a more representative period of trading (for example the same 6 week period last year). A business can evidence this by providing a bank statement for December 2020 or a previous representative trading period or uploading a document proving that they supply or are supplied by a business which was forced to close. We welcome other types of evidence, although for the avoidance of doubt the applicant will need to explain how the document shows the business was severely impacted where this is not initially or obviously clear.

Q6. I have not been severely impacted by the national restrictions as such, but my business has been affected by COVID-19 pandemic generally. Can I still apply for an ARG?

No. Those claiming to be severely impacted must show a deterioration in income and/or trade between the 5th Jan and 15th Feb 2021 compared to the period prior to those restrictions. Businesses need to evidence a 30% drop in turnover for the period 5th January – 15th February 2021 due to the national restrictions imposed at that time.

Q7. I have already received a Local Restrictions Support Grant for the period of national restrictions from 5th January to 15th February 2021, can I apply for an ARG too?

No. You cannot receive both an LRSG (Closed) Addendum and an ARG for the same period of time (Jan 5th to Feb 15th 2021).  Please see our Business Grants Portal for an explanation of what grants cover which periods along with key eligibility criteria. This webpage will continue to be updated with any new funding opportunities when they become available. 

Q8. What types of businesses can apply?

Businesses which meet the eligibility criteria from any sector can apply for the grant, but the Council particularly encourage applications from businesses both within and which supply the retail, hospitality, leisure, and events sectors, as well as taxi operators licensed by EDDC.

Q9. Will non-commercial organisations be eligible for this fund?

No. Only organisations with a commercial operation (selling goods and services in a competitive market) that meet the eligibility criteria can apply. This can include charities with a clear commercial element.

Q10. How are applicants prioritised?

Grants will be issued to eligible applicants on a first-come-first-serve basis until our allocation for this scheme has been exhausted.

Q11. Can a business apply for more than one ARG grant?

No. A business is only eligible for one ARG for each period of national restrictions covered. Businesses who received an ARG1 award covering the November period of national restrictions will be invited by email to apply for a further ARG2 award

Q12. Can a business with two or more premises in East Devon apply for two or more grants?

No. A business is only eligible for one ARG, regardless of the number of premises. We do invite applicants to report their combined rateable value for all premises with an RV above £15,000 that they are the registered rate payer for when completing the ARG application form.

Q13. Can an owner/director of more than one business apply for multiple Additional Restrictions Grants?

As long as the owner/director's businesses meet both the mandatory Government (solvent and trading normally on 4th January) and local criteria (minimum 30% drop in turnover and fixed business costs in excess of £250 pcm), they can apply for an ARG for each business as long as:

1. Where the businesses share the same premises, none are eligible for, or have received a Local Restrictions Support Grant for the period of the national restrictions (5th January to 15th February 2021); and

2. If their businesses are based/registered at the same premises, the applicant does not use the same fixed business cost evidence to meet the minimum cost criteria for different applications (e.g. the same utility bills, lease or equipment hire agreement etc.). 

Q14. Does the applicant need to pay business rates to be eligible?

No. Once of the main purposes of this scheme is to include those businesses who do not have their own business rates assessment and therefore were not eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme. Businesses forced to close who do have a business rates assessment should check to see if they are eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme for the period 5th January to 15th February 2021 before applying for this scheme. Businesses who can evidence they have been severely impacted by the national restrictions are eligible regardless as to whether they are rated or not.

Q15. Is there scope to provide grants to businesses without commercial premises costs?

Yes. All types of businesses can apply as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. ARG applicants whose businesses have not been required to close and can demonstrate ‘significant impact’ must also evidence specific fixed business costs outside of their residential property and staffing costs totalling a minimum of £250 per month that the grant would help mitigate.

Q16. Can the self-employed/sole traders apply?

Yes. All types of businesses can apply for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q17. Can those who work from home or work on a mobile basis apply?

Yes. All types of businesses can apply for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. Where fixed business costs are reported, these cannot include residential property costs (rent, mortgage, utilities), but can include business insurance, equipment hire and licensing costs for example. 

Q18. Is there a rateable value limit for businesses receiving this fund?

No. All types of businesses can apply for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q19. Is there an absolute limit of employees for businesses receiving this fund?

No. All types of businesses can apply for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q20. How can businesses apply?

Businesses will be able to apply online via the EDDC website. We ask businesses to carefully read all the information on the website before applying. We have tried hard to provide all eligibility information, relevant guidance and to answer as many potential questions as possible. We don’t have the staff resource to review and respond to enquires about areas we have already provided information about.

Q21. Can the Council provide an application form in paper format?

No. The application form can only be filled in online.

Q22. What supporting documents will applicants need to provide?

Applicants will need to upload various documents for us to verify eligibility. A list has been uploaded onto our webpage outlining everything an applicant will need to supply. Failure to provide correct and honest information could result in any grant awarded being withdrawn.

Q23. Why are applicants being asked to provide so many reference/account numbers?

We encourage businesses to provide as many details as they can, as this will help us to quickly resolve any anti-fraud checks at a later stage. Applicants will need to provide at least one of these reference/account numbers.

Q24. What happens if an applicant forgot to upload adequate information and wants to send additional documents post-application?

Each application will be assessed based on the information included in the original submission. Where it is clear the business is eligible for support but that a required piece of information or evidence has been omitted from the application, the applicant will be emailed, informed about what specific information is required and invited to reapply. Failure to reapply within 7 days of that email being sent with the required information included will result in the original application being rejected. Similarly, failure to provide correct and honest information could result in any grant awarded being rescinded.

Q25. My business cannot provide a business utility bill, insurance policy or tenancy/lease agreement. What should I do?

You are welcome to supply an invoice, receipt, proof of sale or other document relating to an alternative business cost. This could include, for example, a lease for a company vehicle or piece of kit used for commercial purposes, or a bill for IT services. You cannot include personal or non-commercial residential costs. If your business has no fixed business costs, or if they total less than £250 per month, your business is not eligible for an ARG.

Q26. Businesses based in a residential dwelling may interpret ‘fixed business costs’ to include their house mortgages etc. Could support be given to these businesses?

Although these types of businesses can apply (assuming they meet the eligibility criteria), the application form only allows applicants to input business related costs. Examples of eligible costs include equipment hire, fixed marketing costs, utility bills, insurance costs or leases/mortgages for non-commercial residential properties. B&Bs and guesthouses can include these costs, as the property is used primarily for a commercial purpose.

Q27. What are the grant bands?

Grants will be awarded at the fixed levels as displayed in the table below:

Total payment for 42 days (5th January to 15th February 2021)

Total payment for 42 days (5th January to 15th February 2021) ARG2 Award Top Up Grant Award
Where the business has been required by Government close and is not subject to non-domestic rating; or where the business suffers a significant financial impact and is not subject to non-domestic rating; £1,401 £2,800
Where the business suffers a significant financial impact and is subject to non-domestic rating; RV £0 -£15k £1,401 £2,800
Where the business suffers a significant financial impact and is subject to non-domestic rating; RV £15 -£51k £2,100 £4,200
Where the business suffers a significant financial impact and is subject to non-domestic rating; RV £51k+ £3,150 £6,300

Q28. When will grants be issued?

Assessment of the grant applications will take some time, depending on the number received and the required information being provided. Once assessed and approved, grants will be dispersed within three working days of the grant application being approved. If you submit an ARG application and receive an FS-case number reference, you have successfully submitted your application and do not need to contact us - a decision will be made as soon as possible and if anything is missing from your application we will contact you.  Having to take time away from application assessments to respond to enquiries about when a decision will be made slows this process down for everyone.

Q29. How will an applicant know if they have been successful?

The applicant will be notified by email as to whether they 1) have been successful and when they can expect to receive payment; 2) whether their application requires additional information; or 3) if their application fails to meet the required eligibility or ARG Policy criteria.

Q30. Will grant payments to a particular applicant be paid out all in one go or in smaller portions over time?

A grant to an applicant will be paid out all in one go.

Q31. Do applicants need to pay back the grant?

No, only in cases where a grant was paid in error or claimed on the basis of false evidence or misinformation can the local authority reclaim the funds.

Q32. When will the scheme close?

The scheme will remain open until further notice to allow more East Devon businesses to apply. We may either extend the application window for applications or close the scheme earlier than stated, depending on the volume of eligible applications received and remaining funds.

Q33. Will there be additional funding available for the remainder of the national restrictions period (from 15th February onwards)?

Yes. All successful ARG2 applications will receive an additional ARG2.1 payment for the period of national restrictions from 16th February to 31st March in accordance with the grant award levels set out below. 

Total payment for 44 days (16th February to 31st March 2021) ARG2.1 Grant Award
Affected or Closed Non-Ratepayer £1,468
Affected Ratepayer - RV £0 - £15k £1,468
Affected Ratepayer - RV £15 - £51k £2,201
Affected Ratepayer - RV £51k+ £3,300

Q34. Who will be evaluating the applications?

The Economic Development team will be leading on ARG application processing with support from Business Rates and Customer Service teams.

Q35. How will any remaining funds be allocated?

Remaining funds will be used to pay for post-national restrictions business support projects to the direct benefit of East Devon businesses adaptation, innovation and resilience and in accordance with Government guidance.