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Guidance for applications to Tameside Council for Additional Restrictions Grant Fund – updated January 2022

 

Introduction
  1. This guidance is intended to support Tameside based businesses applying to Tameside Council for a grant from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme announced by the Government (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities) on 22 October 2020 and updated on 21 December 2021.
  1. This guidance sets out the criteria under which businesses will qualify to make an application for the Additional Restrictions Grant, the levels of grant award that are expected to be made and the evidence required to support an eligible application.  This is aligned with the Government guidance published to support Local Authorities in administering the Additional Restrictions Grant.
  1. The top up funding provided to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund is intended to allow Local Authorities to support businesses in their local economies that have been severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions, brought about by the rise of the Omicron variant, with fixed business costs.  This is not intended to replace income or act as a wage subsidy.
  1. Tameside Council has been allocated £268,354.67 of further funding in January 2022. This must be awarded to businesses by 31 March 2022.  The previous allocations were fully exhausted by July 2021, in line with the request made by Government to disburse funds as quickly as possible to support businesses.  Previous allocations received by Tameside totalled £6,803,949.04 for the ARG scheme as follows:
    •  £4,792,000 for the period from 23 October 2020
    • £2,011,949.04 for the period from 4 January 2021
 
Scope and eligibility
  1. The Government guidance gives the Council discretion over the grant scheme, and its decisions regarding the scheme will be final.  There is no appeal process for this grant scheme. 
  2. The fund is available until the end of the financial year 2021/2022 (31/03/2022), however, it is expected that the fund will be exhausted in advance of that date.
  3. Using the guidance issued to the Council by the Government, it has been determined that the Additional Restrictions Grant fund will be open to: any trading businesses within Tameside, severely affected by COVID-19, who are not on the business ratings list.  This includes businesses with commercial premises who are not responsible for business rates, businesses trading from a domestic setting and Tameside taxi licence holders.
  4. Businesses and other organisations who do not pay rates, as they receive a full relief under the Small Business Rates Relief, or Charitable rates relief scheme, but who are on the VOA rating list, are therefore excluded from this scheme.
  5. To be eligible to apply for a grant under this scheme, a business must have been trading prior to the announcement of this support by the Chancellor and continue to trade at the point of applying.  The applicable trading date is the 20 December 2021.
  6. Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.
  
Tameside Council’s approach
 
  1. Eligible businesses have the opportunity to access this fund when the application window opens from 17 January 2022 on a first come first serve basis until funding is exhausted or until 28 February 2022, whichever is earliest.
  2. All applications will be assessed to confirm eligibility and employee number banding.  Should insufficient evidence be supplied to support an application, the applicant will be informed of this, and will have 5 working days to provide the required evidence.
  3. The Council reserves the right to vary the terms of the scheme including the value of awards made under the scheme, at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so.
 
Evidence Required
 
  1. In order for any application to be considered, we require businesses to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria above.  We anticipate that to do this, you will need to provide the below information.  Any document provided must be dated within, or be applicable to, the period December 2021:
  • Evidence to confirm the business was trading from Tameside premises on 20 December 2021, this should be confirmed by providing a bank statement for the applicant business showing business related transactions (MANDATORY)
This will also be used to confirm the bank account details provided for receipt of grant award payment are related to the applicant business.
  • For businesses trading from commercial premises:
    • Lease, rental or business mortgage agreement to evidence Fixed Property Costs (rent)
    • Confirmation of the number of employees based within Tameside premises of the business e.g. monthly employee payment summary (please ensure any summary has personal details redacted and only shows aggregate number of employees based within Tameside premises).
  • For businesses trading from a domestic setting: evidence of fixed business costs, separate to domestic/residential costs; such as insurance, legal and accountancy fees, trading licences, utilities, equipment rental, software licenses and commercial vehicle costs.  Fixed costs do not include stock, domestic property or employee costs. 
  • Tameside taxi licence holders must provide their current licence reference number and declaration they have not received a grant from another Local Authority.
  • All applicants are asked to upload a copy of their passport or driving licence as proof of identity.

Subsidy Allowances
 
  1. All applicants must confirm that receipt of this grant will not exceed permitted subsidy allowances.  Further details are provided here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complying-with-the-uks-international-obligations-on-subsidy-control-guidance-for-public-authorities
 
Grant Amounts and how payments will be made
  1. The Council has access to limited funds from Government for this scheme and it is expected that grant allocations will be made using the payment structure shown below.  
  2. Eligible businesses will be able to access a one off grant payment dependent on their number of employees based within the Tameside premises of their business.  The grant is available only once to each eligible business and is not available per premises.
     
Number of employees based within Tameside premises of the business Grant payment
0 – 9 employees (including domestic based businesses and Tameside taxi license holders) £1,000
10 – 49 employees £1,500
50 – 249 employees £2,000
250 or more employees £2,500
  
  1. The scheme will operate on a first come, first serve basis until all funding is exhausted, to ensure the Council does not overspend on its allocated funding from Government.
 
  1. Applications for the grant can be made online via this webpage: https://www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus/businessgrants.  Payments will be made directly to approved recipients’ bank accounts by electronic transfer.
 
  1. The timeline for the scheme is:
  • Applications open – Monday 17 January 2022
  • Payment of grants – Awarded following assessment of application and paid out on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Applications close – when funds are exhausted or on 28 February 2022, whichever is earliest

Other information
 
  1. The Government and the Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud.  Any business found to have falsified their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.  This includes information in relation to the impact of COVID-19.
 
  1. Receiving this grant will affect your tax and benefit payments in the following ways:
  • Tax - this grant is taxable. You are required to include it as income on your business tax return.
  • Universal Credit – you are required to declare this grant as income which may affect the amount of Universal Credit you receive. Sign in to your Universal Credit account to declare income
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support - the benefits service will be advised this grant has been paid which may result in a decision to re-assess your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support amount.
 
  1. All data submitted in relation to an application for this scheme will be shared across departments of Tameside Council, National Government including the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and approved suppliers of anti-fraud services, for the purposes of preventing fraud, in line with GDPR regulations. 
 
  1. The Council does not accept any liability for any issues that may arise for businesses because of applying for, receiving, or not receiving grant payments under this scheme.
 
  1. Enquiries about the scheme can be emailed to tamesidegrant@tameside.gov.uk