Q. What is the purpose of this funding?
This funding is being made available to support local economies and businesses that have been adversely impacted by national and local (very high) restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Q. Which businesses are eligible?
Local authorities have discretion to determine which businesses to support and how much funding to provide. However, local authorities are encouraged to support businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions but may not qualify under the Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme (ie those not paying business rates).
Businesses which may be eligible for an award under Huntingdonshire District Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant will again be many of those business sectors which have previously been eligible for grants under the Local Authority Discretionary Fund (LADGF). The reasons for this approach is that the council has already recognised the contribution these business sectors make to the Huntingdonshire economy and nature of the district and therefore wishes to make support available again to respond during this further period of restrictions.
To be eligible, these businesses must not be registered for business rates, they must be in the business sectors listed below and have been required to stop, significantly change or reduce their normal operations in order to comply with lockdown regulations:
bed and breakfast businesses registered with Huntingdonshire District Council's Environmental Health
organisations that normally operate within a shared workspace.
All of the above must have their organisations based within the Huntingdonshire district area.
- Market traders who are regular attenders at recognised markets in the district may be eligible too.
For further information please see the Additional Restrictions Grant Policy.
Q. The Discretionary Fund during the summer awarded grants to ‘any other business’ - will ‘any other business’ be eligible for an ARG?
No - please see above.
Q. I’m a market trader, will I be eligible?
A market trader, where the majority of business is non-essential items, who has had to close or adjust to sell predominantly essential items may be eligible.
Q. I'm a market trader - which option should I select when asked 'please select your organisation category'?
Market traders are likely to be non-essential retail. Please specify if you are a market trader in the free text box when prompted.
Q. I’m a bed and breakfast - will I be eligible?
A bed and breakfast that is closed or is only able to remain open to provide accommodation for business travel users may be eligible. The bed and breakfast must also be registered with the district council’s Environmental Health Service.
Q. I work in a shared/serviced workspace - will I be eligible?
We will be using the List A and List B (government guidance on nationally restricted businesses/organisations - see below) to determine eligibility of shared workspace applications. However, for example, if you work in a shared workspace and have been able to provide click and collect services you may still be eligible.
Businesses and venues which have been ordered to close – you can claim a Support Grant if your business is in this list.
Non-essential retail, such as:
- clothing stores
- homeware stores
- vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- betting shops
- tobacco and vape shops
- electronic goods and mobile phone shops
- market stalls selling non-essential goods
- hand car washes
- adult gaming centres
- auction houses (except auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- charities (with a Business Rates number)
If your business falls under the above category but chooses to change its method of operation and to provide takeaway, click and collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) or online services with delivery, it will still be counted as closed and therefore you are still eligible to apply for a Support Grant.
Hospitality venues, such as:
- social clubs
However, if your business normally operates as a take away, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery, you are not eligible for a Support Grant. This is because you are able to continue trading during the National Lockdown, and have not been ordered to close.
Accommodation such as:
- guest houses
If your premises acts as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential for someone to stay there for work purposes, you are eligible for a Support Grant. This is because you are not able to continue trading as normal during the National Lockdown, and have been ordered to close.
Leisure and sports facilities such as:
- leisure centres
- swimming pools
- tennis and basketball courts
- golf courses
- fitness and dance studios
- climbing walls
- archery, driving, and shooting ranges
Entertainment venues such as:
- concert halls
- amusement arcades
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- skating rinks
- go-karting venues
- soft play centres and areas
- zoos and other animal attractions
- water parks and theme parks
- conference centres
- exhibition halls
Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.
Personal care facilities such as:
- hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons
- tattoo parlours and body and skin piercing services
- massage parlours
Community centres and halls and libraries
Except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example, for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect.
Places of worship
Except for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals.
These businesses and places will still be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
- education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that is part of their normal provision)
- childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
- blood donation and food banks
- to provide medical treatment
- for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
- for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
- for the purposes of professional film and TV filming.
Businesses and venues which can remain open – you cannot claim a Support Grant if your business is in this list.
This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:
- food shops
- garden centres
- hardware stores
- building merchants
- petrol stations
- car repair and MOT services
- bicycle shops
- taxi businesses
- vehicle hire businesses
- building societies
- post offices
- loan providers
- money transfer businesses
- funeral directors
- launderettes and dry cleaners
- medical and dental services
- vets and pet services
- agricultural supplies shops
- storage and distribution facilities
- car parks
- public toilets
- motorway service areas
- outdoor playgrounds
- audiology services
- estate agents
Q. I don’t have the documentary evidence required as set out in the eligibility criteria – are there any alternatives that would be acceptable?
The evidence we have requested as part of the application process must be provided in order to be considered for a grant under this scheme.
Q. Must a business have been trading on the first full day of restrictions or before restrictions to be eligible?
A business must have been trading before restrictions came into force to be eligible (4 November 2020).
Q. Are grants made under the scheme subject to tax?
Grant income received by a business is taxable, therefore the Additional Restrictions Grant will be subject to tax. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
Q. Are there any conditions attached to this grant funding?
Recipients of grant funding must comply with all the scheme conditions, including State aid requirements and the provision of information to the local authority to support monitoring and assurance. By accepting the grant, each recipient confirms that they are compliant with the conditions for the scheme.
If a local authority subsequently finds that this self-declaration is incorrect, it will be able to take action and the business would be liable for clawback.
Q. How long does the scheme run for?
The Additional Restrictions Grant provides funds for the financial years 2019/20 and 2021/22,
This Scheme (for the four business sectors) is open for applications until 31 January 2021. However, there is a limited amount of money and grants will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. If the fund is fully allocated before 31 January we will update the Additional Restrictions Grant page and will stop accepting applications. Any claims in progress that are not completed before the funding is fully allocated will be placed on hold (in date order of receipt) and may receive alternative funding if it becomes available.
We are reserving the balance that remains to support activities linked to the economic growth strategy to provide longer term and sustainable support to the businesses and the economy. A plan for the use of the remaining funds will be prepared once the economic growth strategy is published.
Q. Will parish councils be eligible for this fund?
Yes, town and parish councils are eligible if they meet all the scheme criteria (the precepting authority exclusion does not apply to this fund). Please refer to the eligibility criteria.
Q. Can businesses that do not pay business rates receive support under this scheme?
Yes, we are using this scheme to support eligible businesses outside of the business rates system.
Q. Can businesses that are eligible but don’t want or need funding opt out?
A business does not have to apply and may decline the grant.
Q. How does this funding work with shared space/serviced offices where tenants are not the rate payers?
Local authorities will be able to provide grants to businesses not on the rating list that have been forced to close and/or those that have been severely affected by closures.
Q. Is there an appeals process for businesses under this scheme?
There is no appeals procedure as described in our Additional Restrictions Grant Policy.
Q. Do State aid rules apply?
Yes. Businesses will be required to confirm that they comply with the scheme conditions, for example that they did not fall within the definition of an undertaking in difficulty on 31 December 2019 (excluding small and micro businesses) and have not received more than the maximum permitted funding for State aid.
Q. Will the council undertake any fraud checks?
In accordance with the government’s guidance, applications to the grant fund will be subject to anti-fraud checks (including with third-party agencies) prior to payment of grants. If fraudulent claims are subsequently detected after the grant is awarded, we reserve the right to pursue reclaiming those monies.
Q. How can I get an update on my application?
How can I check updates to my application?
Log in to your MyHuntingdonshire account.
Once signed in, click on 'Track my requests'
Click on the 'Complete' tab and then click on the arrow for the relevant application. You can find the application reference number (which is a string of 8 capital letters) on the email that was sent to you when you submitted your application for a grant. It can also be found under the Documents tab, where you application has been uploaded.
This will then open as below - click on the 'Notes' tab to view any updates.
Please note that a Note will be added here when your application has undergone its initial validation check. We will notify you here if it has passed and moved on to mandatory pre-payment and anti-fraud checks or if it has failed, stating the reasons why.
If there are no Notes here your application is still in the queue for review by the team, which we aim to complete within 3-5 working days of submission.