Central Bedfordshire Council has amended the eligibility criteria of its Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG2), which it said will enable more businesses to apply for higher values of grant funding.
The changes include:
- Removing the need for businesses to have been open and actively trading on 11 March 2020. Businesses are now only required to have been open and actively trading on 5 November 2020
- Reducing, from 50% to 25%, the income reduction that needs to be evidenced by businesses. This evidence can be provided in several different ways e.g bank statements
- Increasing the values of the grants. The self-employed (no employees) grant is now £4,000, the businesses with fewer than five employees grant is now £6,000, and the businesses with more than five employees grant is now £9,000
The Council will analyse all grants that were rejected because of the original 11 March 2020 trading date and the 50% income reduction and award further grant money as necessary. It will also be awarding the increased level of grants to new successful applicants.
Councillor David Shelvey, executive member corporate resources, said:
“I’m delighted to be able to increase the level of support we can offer for businesses through these changes to the ARG2 grant criteria. During the pandemic, we have supported businesses with over £94m in grants and business rate relief, and I would encourage any eligible business that has not applied for a grant to apply now.”
Businesses have until 24 March 2021 to apply for the ARG2 scheme via the council’s website.