New grant to help East Devon businesses hit by coronavirus Omicron variant

East Devon businesses whose trade has been hit by supply or demand issues linked to the coronavirus Omicron variant could benefit from a new grant.

District council chiefs are now urging eligible firms and traders to apply for the discretionary scheme before the deadline on March 5.

This Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG4) was launched this week.

It aims to support businesses ‘severely impacted’ by the recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

East Devon District Council deputy leader Councillor Paul Hayward, portfolio holder for economy and assets, said: “That this support has been made available is testament to the fact many businesses are still suffering as a consequence of the pandemic.

“We’ll continue to work in support of these businesses, traders, charities and organisations for as long as is necessary.

“This ARG4 scheme is a valuable opportunity for those whose trade has been undermined by the scale of recent Covid-19 infections and unable to access support from existing schemes.”

A council spokesperson added: “Hospitality, accommodation and leisure premises already eligible for support through the existing Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) cannot also be supported with ARG4 funding.

“Businesses from any sector which are unable to claim OHLG can apply for an ARG4 grant, including sole traders and homeworkers, where fixed business costs and an impact on trade since December 2021 can be demonstrated.

“Grant amounts for ARG4 will depend on how severely a business has been affected and whether the business occupies a premises registered for business rates.

“‘Severe impact’ is considered to be a drop in normal trading, income or service provision.

“For example, this can be due to a significant drop in demand for or an inability to supply goods/services due to the recent local increase in Covid-19 cases.

“Businesses which can evidence that the recent rise in Covid-19 cases meant that trade had to be suspended for at least five consecutive working days (due to staff absence, for example), are eligible to receive a higher grant amount.”

You can check eligibility information, see FAQs, and submit an application here.

A checklist of requirements before starting an application can be found here.

Council car parking charges set to rise in ‘prime’ East Devon tourist hotspots to raise £1.1million

About Author