Image credit: Gareth Williams Photography

East Devon District Council has paid more than £62m in grants to local businesses over the last 12 months, to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of businesses in East Devon have benefitted from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) schemes.

Dave Moore, Managing Director, Brooklands Events, said:

I was completely overwhelmed and it felt like a cloud was being lifted by the EDDC decision to award us a grant. I had been resigned to think that we might be overlooked again, but nevertheless we persevered in applying.  All I can say is an enormous thank you for the grant. It certainly means that we now have several solutions to a few problems that we were about to face. It means that we can confidently move forward to start the ‘season’.

Already, we have been able to confidently take on more jobs, knowing that we can expand our team to be part of what we do best. In any small business, cash flow is imperative.

Sean Cunningham, Managing Director, Phoenix Cellar Services Ltd, said:

We are very grateful for the grant we received. It will go a long way to help our business recover more speedily and ensure continued employment of our all staff.

Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council, said:

Council staff have been working to process grants as quickly as possible, because they offer a lifeline to many businesses.  The grants team are working tirelessly. They have processed around 9,300 applications with more than 8,840 payments made which has presented a huge amount of work.  When a new grant scheme is announced, we have to wait for Government guidance and the funding, to set up the new scheme online.  This takes time and we thank businesses for their patience while the funds are processed and paid as fast as we can.

The LRSG helps rate-paying businesses which were forced to close during periods of national restrictions since November - known as the LRSG (Closed) - and through the tiered restrictions with the LRSG (Open) scheme.

The LRSG payments vary depending on rateable value, with separate grant schemes to cover different time periods:

  • National restrictions between 5 November to 4 December 2020
  • Tiered restrictions between 5 December 2020 to 4 January 2021
  • National restrictions between 5 January to 15 February 2021
  • National restrictions between 16 February to 31 March 2021.

Some of these schemes come to an end on 31st March, so businesses which pay rates and were forced to close due to restrictions are encouraged to urgently check the eligibility criteria to find out if they can make a claim. 

Businesses which weren’t eligible for LRSG are able to apply for ARG if their turnover has been severely affected by the national restrictions and they can prove fixed business costs of at least £250 per month. Anyone who successfully applied for ARG for 5 January -15 February, will automatically get a one off top up payment of between £2,800 - £6,300. Plus these recipients will also automatically get a payment for the remaining period of national restrictions from 16 February – 31 March of between £1,468 - £3,300.

A new Restart Grant will be administered by the Council and more information on this will be available soon.

More information about business grants and how to apply is available eastdevon.gov.uk/business-grants

Businesses are urged to check the criteria carefully and read the frequently asked questions before emailing an enquiry. Due to high levels of demand, enquiries are dealt with in date order so there may be a delay in receiving a reply.