This scheme has been created to address exceptional or unique 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 Fylde economy where there is evidence that the restrictions and regulations related to COVID measures place the business at risk.
The business must have already been awarded an LRSG (Open), LRSG (Closed), or ARG Discretionary grant to be eligible for this scheme. If you have not yet applied to one of those schemes, please click here to find out more.
Below are two examples of when an ARG Exception Scheme grant may be made:
A zoo or animal discovery centre has closed to the public or has restricted access as a result of COVID regulations. Several ongoing costs must be maintained for the welfare and keep of the animals, for example; animal feed, employee wages, and veterinary bills. Whilst eligible for business grant support, employees responsible for animal welfare cannot be furloughed, the service cannot be delivered online or at an alternative location, and COVID measures have significantly impacted the businesses income stream. Without additional funding the business would be in a position where it is unable to care for the animals and the business may have to close. The business is not one that would easily be replaced if lost to the economy and it is an important element of the tourism and leisure economy that is a priority in Fylde.
An events venue that is purpose built for mass gathering social events such as weddings and other large celebrations. The business has no other income stream from associated activity such as operating as a hotel, bar, restaurant, or accommodation – the primary source of income is the events. The business would have complete or significant loss of income over a prolonged period (at least 6 months) as a direct result of COVID restrictions. The size of the venue attracts significant ongoing costs. The service cannot be delivered online or remotely, and once restrictions ease it is not possible to recoup losses as the venue can only host one event per day and under normal circumstances is booked out in advance. Without additional support the business will be unable to recover; it is a business in the hospitality and leisure sector that is a priority in the Fylde economy.
Almost every business is having challenges under the COVID regulations and there are grants available, however some businesses have circumstances that have been far more adversely affected by the COVID regulations and require additional support.
The key criteria for eligibility will include:
- Long term (minimum 6 month) impact as a direct result of COVID restrictions on the income of the business without any significant recovery between the lockdown periods.
- The business has premises or operational costs that cannot be reduced or mitigated as a result of closure or reduced trade
- The business is not a sole trader and employs at least five people (paid or volunteers)
- The service or product is delivered or produced in the borough of Fylde; and that
- The business is in the leisure, tourism, entertainment or hospitality sectors
Businesses that may meet this criterion will be invited to apply.
Do the rules about subsidies apply?
The Brexit transition period has ended and new rules on subsidy control now apply. The ARG Exceptions Scheme is a subsidy. If a receiving a grant may mean that your business (or any group of which it forms part) has had £1,950,000 or more in subsidies in the last three years, we will need to ask you for more information and you are invited to contact us directly regarding your business. You can read more on the rules about subsidies here.