The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a financial support package funded by central government to provide support to businesses adversely affected as a result of the national lockdown and tier system restrictions.
The fund is limited but will be used to support as many local businesses as possible which make a major contribution to the Fylde economy. The fund is a single allocation based on £20 per head of population (ONS 2019 Mid-Year Population Estimates) and will be targeted at priority businesses in the local economy that are severely impacted by the COVID 19 measures.
Local Authorities have the discretion to determine precise eligibility criteria for the ARG grant scheme, subject to cross-cutting conditions that apply to all grant schemes, and are responsible for administering grants in response to local restrictions.
Given the limited budget available (which is significantly less than the previous lockdown allocation) the Council has needed to prioritise the businesses to support and the level of grant provided. It is recognised that not all businesses will benefit and even those that do may be disappointed with the level of support the Council is able to offer.
Additional support will be targeted at businesses that are a priority for the Fylde economy, which include; hospitality, leisure, and accommodation sectors. This is consistent with the guidance provided by the government when allocating the grant. Small and medium sized businesses, often independently owned, in these sectors have been severely impacted by the nature of the restrictions on travel, social mixing, in-person services, and the premise controls in businesses that cannot deliver their services online.
The objective of the ARG allocation scheme is:
- To offer financial assistance to a priority range of businesses operating in the hospitality, leisure, and accommodation sectors that have been severely impacted by COVID related local or national restrictions;
- To provide strategic financial assistance to larger businesses critical to the economic recovery of the Fylde economy in 2021; and
- To communicate advice and support (financial and non-financial) to all businesses affected by COVID-related trading restrictions.
Fylde has come up with several schemes to achieve the objective to support as many local businesses as possible.
ARG Discretionary Award Scheme
This is a local discretionary grants scheme similar to the discretionary scheme administered on behalf of the government as part of the business support measures during the initial lockdown from March to June 2020. This element of the ARG allocations is aimed at businesses that do not have business rate accounts or are not in the economic sectors that make them eligible for other grants.
Applications for the ARG Discretionary Award Scheme have now reopened as a result of additional limited funding. Previous applicants in November and December 2020 should not re-apply, the scheme is open to new applicants only.
The deadline for new applications is Friday 12 February 2021 at 4pm.
Eligibility criteria and awarding process for the scheme remains the same so if a business was not eligible based on a previous application it will be refused.
If the business was awarded a grant during November and December, please do not re-apply – the team will use the original application details to assess any further award. You do not need to make further contact with the Council and doing so may result in delays. Duplicate applications will be automatically rejected.
The ARG is open to new applicants only: Click here to find out more and apply.
ARG Licenced Drivers Scheme
This is a targeted scheme for taxi drivers who are licenced with Fylde Council. The impact from reduced tourism footfall across the Fylde coast has adversely affected licenced drivers that have had limited or no other means of support from other local or national schemes. The scheme is only open to drivers with a valid licence from Fylde Council on 16 October 2020 and drivers will be contacted directly about how to claim the award. Eligible drivers can expect to receive an invitation either via email or post by 24 December 2020, please ensure you check your spam/junk folder for this invitation if you have an email address registered with us. The deadline to apply for this scheme is 4pm Friday 22 January 2021.
ARG Closed Premises Supplementary Scheme
Following the second National Lockdown between 5 November and 2 December 2020, a number of premises in the hospitality and accommodation sector were required to remain closed from 2nd to 30th December as a result of Lancashire being subject to Tier 3 restrictions. This closure came at a time when these same businesses would have been experiencing their busiest trading period of the year, in the build up to Christmas and New Year, increasing the financial impact of the closure restrictions. In response to this an additional supplementary award was made from the ARG fund for businesses in the hospitality and accommodation sectors whose premises were required to remain closed during that period. The businesses that received an additional supplementary award were contacted directly to notify them of the award that was made alongside the government closure grant. An application to the existing LRSG (Closed) scheme to be made before 24th December was part of the eligibility criteria for this grant, and funds assigned for this scheme have now been exhausted and the scheme is now closed.
ARG supplementary allocations are made at the discretion of the local authority based on the funding that is available, if further supplementary payments are possible within the available funding then details will be published on this page.
ARG Exceptions Scheme
This scheme has been created to address exceptional circumstances in local businesses that have been unable to secure any, or enough, support from other grant schemes (including other elements of the ARG). The council is looking to support priority businesses in the local economy and where evidence of significant and exceptional or unique circumstances that place the business at risk as a result of local or national restrictions is provided an assessment will be considered.
The ARG allocation scheme will be reviewed on a regular basis, with consideration to the continually reviewed national and local restrictions and dependent on the funds remaining after the current schemes have been implemented. All of the grant will be used to support the local economy in Fylde.