Additional Restrictions Grant

On 31 October 2020, the Government announced the introduction of additional support for Local Authorities under national and Local Covid Alert Level 3 restrictions.

This support will take the form of a funding scheme in financial year 2020-2021 and can be used across financial years 20/21 and 21/22. The scheme is called the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

Under the Additional Restrictions Grant, Local Authorities will receive a one-off lump sum payment. Local authorities can use this funding for business support activities. We envisage this will primarily take the form of discretionary grants but could also use this funding for wider business support activities.

The ARG is intended to support those businesses who may not have had to close but whose operations will have suffered a significant impact as a result of further restrictions.

Local Authorities have been allowed discretion over the allocation of the grant. It is intended that this funding should be used to support businesses affected by the restrictions until the end of the 2021/22 financial year. Reading Borough Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant policy 20/21 was approved on 27 November 2020 and full details of the policy can be found here.

Three application windows have been available to make a claim, 30 Nov – 13 Dec, 4 Jan – 17 Jan and 8 Mar – 31 Mar.

Reading Borough Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant 21/22 policy was approved on 28 May 2021 and full details of the policy can be found here.

An application window was available from 31 May – 7 June for businesses meeting the following criteria:

  • up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses not in the rating system (as defined in the Policy)
  • up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses not in the rating system (as defined in the Policy)
  • £5,000 to support individuals licenced in the Hackney Carriage and Driving Instructor professions that have not received support under any grant scheme administered by the Council
  • A hardship’ fund for rate-paying and non rate-paying businesses who have not received support under any grant schemes administered by the Council and require support due to demonstrable financial vulnerability. Businesses will where appropriate need to demonstrate fixed building related costs outside of their residential property costs and provide significant evidence of financial vulnerability. In determining these applications, we will consider the impact that the failure of these businesses would have on the economic development of the borough and on the business rates revenue of the Council.

Payment awards are as follows:

Non-essential retail businesses not in the rating list which can demonstrate fixed property costs (outside of normal residential property costs and staffing costs), aligning with the Restart Grant Scheme for those properties in the rating system:

  • £2,667 with annual rental/mortgage value of £15,000 or under
  • £4,000 with annual rental/mortgage value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £6,000 with annual rental/mortgage value of exactly £51,000 or above

Non-essential retail businesses not in the rating list which can demonstrate other fixed costs (outside of normal residential property costs and staffing costs):

  • £1,778 with fixed annual costs of £15,000 or under
  • £2,666 with fixed annual costs of over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £4,000 with fixed annual costs of exactly £51,000 or above

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses not in the rating system which can demonstrate fixed property costs (outside of normal residential property costs and staffing costs), aligning with the Restart Grant for those properties in the rating system:

  • £8,000 with annual rental/mortgage value of £15,000 or under
  • £12,000 with annual rental/mortgage value over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £18,000 with annual rental/mortgage value of exactly £51,000 or above

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses not in the rating system which can demonstrate other fixed costs (outside of normal residential property costs and staffing costs):

  • £5,333 with fixed annual costs of £15,000 or under
  • £8,000 with fixed annual costs of over £15,000 and less than £51,000
  • £12,000 with fixed annual costs of exactly £51,000 or above

Individuals licenced in the Taxi and Driving Instructor professions that have not received support under any grant scheme administered by the Council:

  • £5,000 Self-employed driving instructors resident in the Borough that can demonstrate fixed costs
  • £5,000 Self-employed licenced (by Reading) Hackney Carriage owners that are actively working the rank as at 1st April 2021 that can demonstrate fixed costs

The scheme closed on 7 June 2021. Applications will now be assessed and funding reviewed upon completion.

Application data will be shared with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will store it securely and process it for monitoring and evaluation purposes only. This includes, but is not limited to, follow up evaluation surveys relating to the business support grant schemes that we have administered on their behalf.