Southend-based businesses which have been significantly affected as a result of coronavirus restrictions may be eligible for further government grant funding. There are now several different local restriction support grant (LRSG) schemes and it can be confusing to know which one to apply for.
As such, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has now received full Government guidance on the schemes that were announced in December and have created a single application form, which has been designed to cover all schemes without the applicant needing to understand which they may be eligible for.
Whilst the awarding of grants is the council’s responsibility, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has set down criteria which must be met by each business making an application. The Department has also indicated the types of business which should be given the grants. This full guidance was received at the end of last week.
To qualify for the grants currently available, a business must have fixed premises related costs and whoever was the ratepayer on the date of the first full day of local restrictions is the person/business eligible for the grant. The only separate application process is for Christmas Support Payments for wet-led pubs, for which there is a different form link. The council has now received instruction for the Additional Restriction Grants (ARGs) and an application form for this will be coming soon.
Previously the council has offered discretionary grant funding to businesses without fixed premise costs; this may be the case in the future. Even if business owners do not think they are eligible at the moment, they can still apply now using the single form. The council will communicate information of grants for businesses who do not have fixed premises should they become available again at a later stage.
Central government announced before Christmas that new applications would need to be made by businesses for the next stage of grant funding. It was previously advised that money allocations would be on a rolling-basis based on initial applications made previously. As such, businesses are asked to fill in the new form even if they have received grant funding in the past.
For those businesses applying, please ensure you have the following information to hand:
Business Rates Account Number
VAT Registration Number
Date your business commenced trading at your address
Bank details (Account name, sort code and account number)
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism said: “The latest lockdown restrictions have once again placed a number of local businesses in very difficult positions. There are now a number of different local restriction support grant streams which are available and the Business Rates team, who distribute the money, are aware how confusing it is to know which grant to apply for. As such, the team have worked hard since the guidance was recently received by Government and created a single application form and they will work out which grant is appropriate and the amount of the award.
“If you are a business owner who is eligible please make sure you complete the form in order to have your grant processed with the funds in your account as soon as possible.
“Please also note that unfortunately new applications do have to be made by businesses for the next stage of grant funding, despite previous advice from the Government that money allocations would be on a rolling-basis after initial applications made. As such, businesses are asked to fill in the new form even if they have received grant funding in the past.”
For further information and a link to the application form page, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona