A new discretionary grant scheme has opened to support East Devon businesses whose trade has been affected by supply or demand issues linked to the Omicron variant.

This most recent Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG4), launches on Monday 7th February 2022 to support businesses severely impacted by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Business owners and directors are encouraged to act quickly as the scheme closes to applications at 5pm on 7th March 2022.

To check eligibility information, FAQs and to submit an application, please visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk/arg4

Hospitality, accommodation and leisure premises already eligible for support through the existing Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) cannot also be supported with ARG4 funding.

Businesses from any sector which are unable to claim OHLG can apply for an ARG4 grant, including sole traders and homeworkers, where fixed business costs and an impact on trade since December 2021 can be demonstrated.

Grant amounts for ARG4 will depend on how severely a business has been affected and whether the business occupies a premises registered for business rates. ‘Severe impact’ is considered to be a drop in normal trading, income or service provision. For example, this can be due to a significant drop in demand for or an inability to supply goods/services due to the recent local increase in COVID-19 cases.

Businesses which can evidence that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases meant that trade had to be suspended for at least five consecutive working days (due to staff absence, for example), are eligible to receive a higher grant amount.

To help businesses apply for ARG4 please review the checklist of requirements before starting an application.

For more information and to submit an ARG4 application, visit eastdevon.gov.uk/arg4

Cllr Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets, said:

That this support has been made available is testament to the fact many businesses are still suffering as a consequence of the pandemic. We’ll continue to work in support of these businesses, traders, charities and organisations for as long as is necessary.

This ARG4 scheme is a valuable opportunity for those whose trade has been undermined by the scale of recent COVID-19 infections and unable to access support from existing schemes such as the OHLG. We urge eligible businesses to be quick as the scheme closes to applications on 7th March 2022”