Business grants explained and how to apply

Below is a summary of all grants currently being administered by the Council. In addition, businesses can check to find out what other support may be available through National Schemes.

Business support packages available

Restart Grant

The Chancellor announced in the Budget of 3 March 2021 that the government will provide ‘Restart Grants’ in England. These will be:

  • up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses
  • up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses. 

The scheme closed on 30 June 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.

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 and Reading Borough Council has been awarded £4.6m in order to do this. It is intended that this funding should be used to support businesses affected by the restrictions until the end of the 2020/21 financial year. Reading Borough Council’s 2020/21 Additional Restrictions Grant policy was approved on 27 November 2020 and full details of the policy can be found here.

Three application windows were available to make a claim, 30 Nov – 13 Dec, 4 Jan – 17 Jan and 08 Mar – 31 Mar.

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

An application window was available to make a claim 31 May to 07 June under the new policy. The scheme is now closed whilst applications are assessed and funding reviewed.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum

National Lockdown November & January

The Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) Addendum is for businesses that are required to close under National Restrictions, with effect from 5 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.

The scheme closed on 31 May 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – Tier 2, 3 & 4

The Local Restrictions Grant (Closed) Tier 2, 3 & 4 restrictions is for businesses that are required to close under Tier 2, Tier 3 and/or Tier 4 restrictions, with effect from 2 December 2020 to 5 January 2021.

The scheme closed on 31 March 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Sector)

This is a grant made available prior to national restrictions.

This is for the following businesses specified by the government who were closed on 23 March 2020 and have not reopened:

  • nightclubs
  • dance halls
  • discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues
  • hostess bars.

The scheme closed on 31 March 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) – Tier 2 Restrictions

The government has provided the Council with funding for businesses to use at its discretion for the period that Reading was in Local COVID Alert Level 2 (Tier 2) immediately after National Lockdown (2 December until 18 December 2020 inclusive).

The government has suggested that the businesses that would benefit the most from this grant would be businesses in hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that have been suffering from reduced demand for the 17-day period.

The scheme closed on 31 March 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.

Closed Business Lockdown Payment, a one-off payment for retail, hospitality and leisure

The government will provide one-off grants of up to £9,000 per property for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. This is to support businesses through the impacts of the national lockdown to Spring 2021.

The scheme closed on 31 March 2021 and we are unable to accept any further applications.