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 Southend Borough 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. Southend Borough 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
• Company Number
• VAT Registration Number
• Date your business commenced trading at your address
• Bank details (Account name, sort code and account number)