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Businesses encouraged to apply as new grants unveiled

Businesses are being encouraged to apply for a number of new grants that are now open following the recently imposed tiered and national restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, the guidance on the schemes arrived with Test Valley Borough Council officers from national government. Having worked through this guidance, applications are now open for the grants. Officers are currently contacting businesses that have already received a grant for the November lockdown period to arrange their payments, and these businesses do not need to complete a further claim online.

The schemes that have just launched include the Additional Restrictions Grant, the Local Restrictions Support Grant and new lockdown grants with one-off payments to closed or affected businesses.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) covers businesses in the retail, hospitality, leisure, events and early learning services and will last for the duration of any national lockdown, as well as tier four limitations. This grant also covers supply chains that have not been forced to close, but whose income has been affected by the closure of its customers.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (addendum) applies to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses mandated to close during the tier four restrictions and national lockdown.

Payments for both the ARG and Local Restrictions Grant range from £1,000 to £4,500 depending on the applicable restrictions and rateable value.

New lockdown grants will supply a one-off payment to businesses who have been forced to close or affected by the January national lockdown, but businesses will only be eligible if they pay business rates. Covering similar sectors, payments can range up to £9,000. These grants will be paid automatically to eligible businesses that receive the above ARG and Local Restrictions Grant payment.

More information and applications can be found via:

Finance portfolio holder, councillor Maureen Flood, said: “We have been working extremely hard to try to get these vital financial support grants up and running to the businesses who really need them. Last year was incredibly difficult and I know that the start of 2021 hasn’t been any easier.

“However, these grants cover a wide range of sectors and organisations and hopefully they can provide help to our local economy as we look forward to brighter months ahead. I would strongly encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible, to go online.”