Coronavirus : Guidance for businesses

COVID-19 Business Grants

Please click on the header to reveal scheme information 

Once you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email (check your junk mail if it is not in your inbox), the production of the application reference means that your application has been successfully submitted. Please refrain from contacting us to enquire or chase an application if you are in receipt of your reference number, we appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone, additional calls and emails could lead to further delays.

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary Grant Scheme) 1 April 2021 onwards - Application window open until 20 May 2021

  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 2 December 2020 closed on 21 December 2020.  
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 15 February 2021 closed on 1 February 2021.
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 31 March 2021 closed on 24 March 2021.
  • Declarations for the period ending 31 March 2021 have been sent to applicants who either successfully applied or are awaiting the outcome of their application for the period ending 15 February 2021.  The deadline for declarations to be returned to us was extended to 1 April 2021.
  • Applications for the period 1 April 2021 onwards designed to provide support alongside the mandatory Restart Grants is now open.  The application window will close on 20 May 2021.

The Government has recognised that some businesses that are required to close may not have a rateable value and that others may not have been forced to close, but they will be significantly impacted by the lockdown.

As such Local Authorities have been allocated funding under the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). This funding is to support businesses alongside the Local Restrictions Support Grant and can be used across financial years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

Local Authorities are required to determine how to use this funding to support local businesses in line with the eligibility criteria set out in the guidance provided by Government which encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses.

The Council has agreed an Additional Restrictions Grant Policy. Our goal is to try and support as many businesses as possible that have been affected by the national lockdown restrictions while keeping the individual grant amounts high enough that they will provide meaningful support to those businesses.

Exclusions to the scheme

  • Businesses which can continue to trade and can operate their services remotely
  • Businesses which have chosen to close but are not required to close unless they can demonstrate significant financial impact as a result of restrictions
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of Subsidy Allowance permitted
  • Business which are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Businesses must have a registered address in the Cherwell District to be eligible for this scheme. The business will need to be trading within the Cherwell District.  Where a business is registered in another council area (although has a presence in the Cherwell District Council area) the council will take a discretionary view on a case-by-case basis
  • Businesses must have been actively trading on or before 1 April 2021
  • Businesses which have been forced to close and which are outside of the business rate system, for example shared spaces and market traders, are eligible to apply under this scheme
  • Businesses while not legally forced to close but which provide goods or services to a business that is or has been mandated to close are eligible to apply for a grant. This could include, for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors or businesses in the events sector. A statement will be required from the company showing that:
    • At least 50 per cent of their revenue comes from businesses required to close; or
    • Have been required to close but do not have a rateable value
  • Larger local businesses which are essential to support the wider local economy may also be eligible for additional support on top of funding provided to these businesses via the Restart Grant scheme. This will be in exceptional circumstances and each case will be considered on its own merits with a view to the local economic impact if the business ceased to trade

Please note: In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, the Council may take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they can continue to trade and the scale of the loss/impact of COVID-19.

Evidence

For new applicants evidence is required to support an application

  • Closed businesses applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirms their eligibility. In addition to this businesses that are required to close will need to provide evidence of their trading status in the form of a bank statement showing business name, registered address and income details for the last three months along with comparative bank statements covering the same period for the financial year 2019/2020 (pre COVID-19).
  • Open businesses applying for ARG funding will be required to make a statement that confirm eligibility. In addition, the businesses will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that they supply companies which are required to close and that there has been an impact on their income. This will be in the form of a bank statement showing business name, registered address and income details for the last three months along with comparative bank statements covering the same period for the financial year 2019/2020 (pre COVID-19).

Businesses that previously applied for and received Additional Restrictions Grant funding have been emailed directly inviting application.  Those businesses must complete the application form/self-declaration emailed to them by the 14 May 2021. Do not complete the online application form.

ARG funding application

Grant payments

As previously stated, the Council has received a limited funding allocation for ARG. As such how much Grant a business receives will depend on their specific circumstances with a maximum cap of a one-off payment of £18,000.

The tables below stipulate the payment award amounts for the period from the 1 April 2021 onwards.

Rate paying businesses supplying non-essential retail businesses but not forced to close

Business with a rateable value of Award 
£15k or under  £2,667
Over £15k and less than £51k  £4,000
£51k and over  £6,000    

Rate paying businesses supplying Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gym businesses but not forced to close

Business with a rateable value of Award 
£15k or under  £8,000
Over £15k and less than £51k  £12,000
£51k and over  £18,000

All non-rate paying businesses that supply or operate within the following sectors but not forced to close

Sector Award 
Non-essential retail, Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and
Gym businesses, such as shared space or market traders
£2,667

Please note: if a business supplies both sectors then payment will be based on which sector normally provides the greatest proportion of income.


Further guidance

Whilst we understand that this is a very stressful time for businesses and that you would like your application to be processed and payment to be made as quickly as possible, due to the volume of phone calls and emails we are receiving we ask that you please adhere to the below to allow us to process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thank you very much.

  • Once you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email (check your junk mail if it is not in your inbox), the production of the application reference means that your application has been successfully submitted. Please refrain from contacting us to enquire or chase an application if you are receipt of your reference number, we appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone, additional calls and emails could lead to further delays.
  • If you are not in receipt of an application reference following a submission, it would suggest that your application has not been submitted correctly and it is advisable that you reapply. If the issue persists, please contact us.
  • If we require any further information from you, we will be in touch by email or phone. Please respond as soon as possible to the contact details supplied.

Local Restrictions Support Grant.  Open for application until 31 May 2021 for the period 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021

Central Government have announced closing dates for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme:

  • 31/03/2021 - For periods of national and local restrictions up to and including 15/02/2021
  • 31/05/2021 - For the period of national restrictions from 16/02/2021 up to and including 31/03/2021

From 01/04/2021 applications to the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will only be assessed for the period of National Restrictions 16/02/2021 to 31/03/2021. The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will not be paid for applications received after 31/03/2021 as this scheme closed on that date.

From 01/06/2021 the application form will be removed from our website as applications to the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will no longer be accepted.

In accordance with guidance received from central Government further funding will be provided for a 44 day period (16/02/2021 – 31/03/2021), these payments are pro rata as follows:

  • Rateable Value of exactly £15,000 or below = £2,096
  • Rateable Value over £15,000 and below £51,000 = £3,143
  • Rateable Value of exactly £51,000 or above = £4,714

Payment for the period 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 will be made without reapplication if your application for the period ending 15 February 2020 has been approved.

Please do not reapply if you have already received Additional Restrictions Grant Funding or are awaiting the outcome of an application to this scheme for the period ending February 2021. You will be contacted by the Grants Team if further information is required.

If you have not yet applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for the period of national restrictions 5 November 2020 to 1 December 2020 and/or the periods of national and local restrictions 2 December 2020 to 15 February 2021 and you meet the qualifying criteria, please complete an application form, if approved you will automatically be paid for the period 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021.

How your payment was calculated

If you have received a payment for your Local Restrictions Support Grant but are unsure what amount is for each period, please see below how this is calculated.

Period of Restrictions National or Local Restrictions Rateable Value £15,000 or below Rateable Value above £15,000 and below £51,000 Rateable Value £51,000 or above
5 November 2020 to 1 December 2020 National restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum £1,334 £2,000 £3,000
2 December 2020 to 25 December 2020
Payment amount pro-rata for period (24 days)
Tier 2 restrictions – LRSG (Closed)
Wet led pubs only
£1,143.43 £1,714.29 £2,571.43
26 December 2020 to 4 January 2020
Payment amount pro-rata for period (10 days)
Tier 4 restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4£476.43 £357.14 £714.29 £1,071.43
5 January 2021 to 15 February 2021 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (42 days)
National restrictions – LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards £2,001 £3,000 £4,500
Closed Business Lockdown Payment Paid alongside LRSG (Closed) Addendum: For period ending
15 January 2021.
£4,000 £6,000 £9,000
2 December 2020 to 25 December 2020 
Payment amount pro-rata for period (24 days)
Tier 2 restrictions – LRSG (Open) 
Hospitality, Leisure, Hotels, B&B only
£800.40  £1,200 £1,800
  • You will not be paid two amounts for the same period.  If your business qualifies for LRSG (Open) for periods when our area was subject to Tier 2 restrictions, you would not qualify for LRSG (Closed) for the same period.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) – Also known as LRSG (Closed)

Businesses in England required to close due to being located in Tier 3 or Tier 4 regions or subject to National Restrictions (Lockdown) and therefore being subject to local lockdown measures will now be able to receive grants worth up to £3,000 every month.

Please Note: The local lockdown is triggered when the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care requires the closure of businesses in a local area under regulations within the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the grant, a business that was open as usual and providing in-person services to customers must have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions.

Businesses are also eligible if they have had to adapt their business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways or click and collect. If the main part of the business (before government restrictions) is to provide takeaways or click and collect services, then the business is not eligible for this grant.

Your business will not qualify for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) schemes if it:

  • has been able to continue to operate during the lockdown because it does not depend on providing direct in-person services from its premises
  • has chosen to close
  • has reached the state aid limit; or
  • is in administration, insolvent or a striking off order was made at the time local restrictions started

How much is the grant?

Rateable value of premises

Grant payment per four weeks

£15,000 or under

£1,334 per 28 day period

£15,001 - £50,999

£2,000 per 28 day period

£51,000 or over

£3,000 per 28 day period

You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill.

Please note: for any period of restrictions that lasts less than 28 days the payment amount is calculated on a Pro Rata basis when an Authority is moved between Tiers (either up or down) midway through a 28 day period.

For the National Restrictions that commenced on the 5 January 2021 central Government have already confirmed these restrictions will last for 6 weeks to the 15 February 2021 (42 days), funding will be provided for the full 6 week period on successful application.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) - Also known as LRSG (Open)

This is available to businesses whilst Cherwell District is subject to Tier 2 restrictions. Whilst businesses may not have been mandated to close in Tier 2 they have been severely impacted. There are different levels of payment based on the Rateable Value of the business. It is a payment for every full 14-day period the district remains in the restriction, the payment amount is calculated on a Pro Rata basis when an Authority is moved between Tiers (either up or down) midway through a 14 day period.

Local Authorities have been provided with additional funding to support businesses for periods that they are in high (Tier 2) alert level areas. These businesses are not subject to enforced closures but are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising.

The funding Cherwell District Council received is based on the number of hospitality, hotel, Bed and Breakfast and leisure businesses in the area. Please see the LRSG (Open) Policy.

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of up to £934 per 28 day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000, grants of up to £1,400 per 28 day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000, grants of up to £2,100 per 28 day period
  • This is equivalent to 70% of the grant amounts given to legally closed businesses in Tier 3 (worth up to £3,000/month) 28 day period

State aid rules

The Local Restrictions Support Grants (closed) and (Open) count towards state aid. The rules are fully explained in the government state aid guidance. By accepting this grant, you must confirm that you are not in breach of these rules.

How to apply

All businesses wishing to claim the Local Restriction Support Grant will have to complete an online form (below) and the following information will be needed:

  • Business rates account number
  • The 2017 List Rateable Value of the property (you will find this on your latest business rates bill)
  • Copy of a bank statement dated within the last 3 months showing account name, address, sort code and account number

Before starting to complete your application form, please check that you have this information to hand. Please note that we will need all of this information before we can make a grant payment.

After submission of your online form, a grant payment should normally be processed and paid within a fortnight.

You only need to complete one application form to cover all available funding periods from the 02/12/2020 through to the 15/02/2021, we will determine your eligibility for the relevant Tier periods based on the information that you provide in your application.

Apply for Local Restrictions Support Grant
Please note all previous applicants for the period 05/11/2020 to the 02/12/2020 will have to re-apply for further available funding.

Whilst we understand that this is a very stressful time for businesses and that you would like your application to be processed and payment to be made as quickly as possible, due to the volume of phone calls and emails we are receiving we ask that you please adhere to the below to allow us to process applications as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Thank you very much:

  • Once you have submitted an application, you will receive a confirmation email (check your junk mail if it is not in your inbox), the production of the application reference means that your application has been successfully submitted. Please refrain from contacting us to enquire or chase an application if you are receipt of your reference number, we appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone, additional calls and emails could lead to further delays.
  • If you are not in receipt of an application reference following a submission, it would suggest that your application has not been submitted correctly and it is advisable that you reapply. If the issue persists, please contact us
  • If we require any further information from you, we will be in touch by email or phone. Please respond as soon as possible to the contact details supplied

PLEASE NOTE: In line with central Governments guidance, funding  for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme is being paid at a rate of 70% of the LRSG (Closed) schemes level and the scope for businesses that are applicable to the funding is significantly reduced.  Please view the policy which is included on this page, which details the types of businesses eligible for LRSG (Open) funding.  Given the limited funding available and central Governments guidance, the only business types eligible are those within the Hospitality, Hotel, Bed & Breakfast and Leisure categories.  Non-essential Retail businesses are not eligible.

Payments

As with other COVID-19 business grants, local grants to businesses will be treated as taxable income.

Additional Information: Closed Business Lockdown Payment - Scheme closed 31/03/2021

In addition to the above central Government announced on the 5 January 2021 a further, one-off payment, grant scheme to provide support to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The Closed Business Lockdown Payment will also be paid, if applicable, as part of your application for the Local Restriction Support Grant.

Please note: The above dates are periods of restrictions at the time of writing.  Please ensure that you follow current guidance from Central Government regarding your business.


Restart Grant Scheme (mandatory scheme only, not discretionary scheme): Successful Local Restrictions Support Grant applicants will be sent a condensed application form from 07/04/2021 onwards.

Businesses not eligible for Local Restrictions Support Grant but are eligible for the Restart Grant can apply using the online form from 21/04/2021.  Details of the Discretionary equivalent of the Restart Grant will be published as soon as possible.

To support the recovery of the high street as Government trading restrictions are relaxed, the Chancellor has announced the one-off payment 'Restart Grant'. This grant will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant from April 2021 onwards for eligible businesses.

Following receipt of guidance confirming that this scheme is available to qualifying Non-essential Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gym and Sports and Personal Care businesses we are now able to launch the Restart Grant scheme, businesses that previously applied for and received Local Restriction Support Grant funding will be contacted directly inviting application. Due to additional payment checks required by central Government payments will not start to be made until the week commencing 19 April 2021 onwards. 

Businesses that did not qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant but do qualify for the Restart Grant must complete the application form at the bottom of this page.  Please do not use the form if you have already successfully applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant or if you await the outcome of your Local Restrictions Support Grant application as a condensed form will be emailed to you.

One off grant payment amounts are as follows:

Non-essential retail businesses with

  • a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will receive a one-off grant of £2,667.
  • a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, will receive a one-off grant of £4,000.
  • a rateable value of £51,000 or above, will receive a one-off grant of £6,000.

Qualifying Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gym business properties with

  • a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will receive a one-off grant of £8,000.
  • a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, will receive a one-off grant of £12,000.
  • a rateable value of £51,000 or above, will receive a one-off grant of £18,000.

Please note: We have not yet received the applicable funding from Central Government.  The period for which payments will be made does not start until 1 April 2021 and we cannot make payment prior to April.  We will make an announcement on our website to inform businesses of the process for receipt of payment as soon as possible; this will require the completion of a further application form. 

Please see the lists of exclusions for the Restart Grant scheme below.  Please note that these lists are not intended to be exhaustive and it will be for Local Authorities to determine those cases where eligibility is unclear:

Non-essential Retail Exclusions:

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops, off licences
  • breweries
  • pharmacies, chemists
  • newsagents
  • animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
  • building merchants
  • petrol stations
  • vehicle repair and MOT services
  • bicycle shops
  • taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • education providers including tutoring services
  • banks, building societies and other financial providers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical practices
  • veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • agricultural supply shops
  • garden centres
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • wholesalers
  • employment agencies and businesses
  • office buildings
  • automatic car washes
  • mobility support shops.

Hospitality Exclusions:

  • food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Leisure Exclusions:

  • all retail businesses
  • coach tour operators, tour operators
  • telescopes.

Accommodation Exclusions:

  • private dwellings
  • education accommodation
  • residential homes, care homes
  • residential family centres
  • beach huts.

Gym and Sports Exclusions:

  • home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

Personal Care Exclusions:

  • businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services
  • businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others
  • businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services
  • chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health.

Apply for Restart Grant


Self-employment income support - grant extension

The UK Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has taken action to provide support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme