Additional Restrictions Grant 2 (ARG2) Guidance

Reopening Fund Guidance

Background

On  Thursday 15th July the Reopening Fund was re-launched for businesses in Sutton which are in the hospitality sector or which deliver indoor events/classes as set out below. The scheme closed on Friday 13th August at 5pm. 

Please ensure you read all the following information carefully before applying for this funding. All applications will be assessed against the criteria set out. Submitting an application or meeting the criteria set out does not guarantee funding will be awarded.  

  • The London Borough of Sutton reserves the right to vary the terms of the scheme and amend the guidance at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so, including to ensure compliance with Government guidance. All grants are provided at the discretion of the London Borough of Sutton. 

  • Your business is not eligible for this grant if it has received the London Borough of Sutton’s Weddings/Civil Partnerships, Events and Travel Fund.

  • You can apply to this grant if you have received any other grant funding (e.g. Restart, Additional Restrictions Grant) 

Grants available

Businesses must meet all criteria set out to qualify for the ARG-Reopening Scheme. 

  • Businesses must be based in commercial premises full-time (whether they are liable for Business Rates or not). 
  • You must offer in-person customer services from your premises as the substantial part of your business.
  • You must evidence that your business turnover was at least £6,000 prior to COVID-19/March 2020 excluding loans, funds transfers and grants; or pro-rata if a newly established business. You must have been established and trading on 1 April 2021. 
  • You also must not have been able to substantially reopen your business indoors as set out by law during Step 2 of the Government’s Roadmap between 12 April and 17 May due to Government restrictions. 

This grant is aimed at businesses in the following sectors: 

  • Hospitality businesses. Hospitality is defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink, and where the main business activity is serving customers seated at the premises. This will include public houses, pub restaurants, restaurants, wine bars and cafes. For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality retail business excludes: food kiosks, drive-throughs 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 facilities which provide group classes, workshops or events indoors as the main/substantial part of their business such as dance studios and fitness studios.
  • If your business has been prevented from reopening by law (and did not trade indoors or outdoors) during Step 2 of the Roadmap, and does not fall into the categories above please contact us at discretionarygrant@sutton.gov.uk.

All businesses must either be the named rate-payer for Business Rates for the premises; or be based in commercial premises full-time, with a rental agreement, lease, or commercial mortgage which can be evidenced. 

  • Businesses with a rateable value or fixed annual property costs of exactly £15,000 or under may receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses with a rateable value or fixed annual commercial property costs of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may receive a payment of £6,000. 
  • Businesses with a rateable value or fixed annual commercial property costs of exactly £51,000 or over may receive a payment of £8,000. 

Summary 

By applying, you accept the information set out within this Guidance. 

  • The grant is provided to support the business, not to support the wages of the employees or owners of a business, to pay personal costs or dividends. It should be used to cover the costs incurred by the business, including to make the business COVID-19 secure (such as enabling you to trade safely outside).
  • The funding is only open to businesses that have suffered from a loss of income due to the COVID-19 restrictions which exceeds the grant funding awarded. 
  • If you have any queries please contact discretionarygrant@sutton.gov.uk.  As we are a small team we do not currently have a contact phone-number, but we can arrange a telephone call where appropriate. Please either email us to arrange a call-back, or you can phone our Contact Centre on 0208 770 5000 who will pass on your details. 

Eligibility 

  • To be eligible, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet all the criteria set out below:
  • All types of organisations can apply including, but not limited to, sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, charities, community interest companies and limited liability partnerships. Businesses must be appropriately registered with Companies House, and sole traders/partnerships with HMRC. 
  • You must be a sole trader, partnership or a small, micro or medium businesses and meet two of the following definitions:
    • your annual turnover must be no more than £36 million
    • your balance sheet total must be no more than £18 million
    • your average number of employees must be no more than 250 
  • Your business must be fully constituted and trading, have been established before 1 April 2021 and trading on 1 April 2021. If your business is currently shut, you must plan to reopen after restrictions are lifted. A business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity (i.e. carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover). Some indicators that your business is trading are shown below: 
    • Your business has staff on furlough
    • Your business continues to trade including through alternative methods such as online i.e. click and collect services or takeaway
    • Your business is currently trading in person 
    • Your business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures.
  • You must not be in administration, insolvent, dormant, have applied to be removed from Companies House or have had a striking-off notice made, either during the grant’s eligible period, at the point of application, or when the grant is due to be paid. 
  • You must have a full-time trading/operating address in the London Borough of Sutton as of 1st April 2021.
  • Eligible businesses may receive one grant for each commercial business premises/address/hereditament within the London Borough of Sutton that they occupy, operate a seated hospitality business from on a full time basis and for which a separate rateable value or fixed costs are incurred which exceed the grant award. 
  • Only one grant will be paid for each property. If you fully occupy a rated premises, the grant will be paid to the person that is liable for Business Rates for the premises. 
  • The grant should be used to cover the costs incurred by your business, excluding staffing and salary costs. Eligible costs could include:
    • Fixed commercial property costs
    • Ongoing storage costs 
    • Dedicated business phone or internet 
    • Business transport/vehicle fixed costs e.g. tax, insurance, service or fixed lease/hire costs
    • Business software subscription licenses
    • Business/Professional Body registration and membership costs
    • Training costs which are required by law or required by your business/professional body
    • Fixed franchise payments
    • Business utilities
    • Business banking charges, book-keeping, accounting services 
    • Equipment, supplies and resources required in order to run the business
    • Adaptations you must make to ensure your business is COVID-19 compliant
  • Shared business/personal costs are not classed as fixed business costs for this purpose. For example, the costs of residential property, utilities, insurance, and personal vehicles are not eligible, even where these are partially used for business purposes and the costs partially recharged to the business. Staff costs, salaries, bonuses, dividends, consultant fees etc. are not eligible. This list is not exhaustive. 
  • You should have incurred fixed annual costs which exceed the grant awarded, and you may be asked to evidence costs incurred. When assessing fixed costs, we will not consider future costs your business may incur.
  • The person completing the application must have authority to act on behalf of the company or trader that the application is being submitted for. If you are a limited company (or similar) and are not named as a Director or person with significant control on Companies House you must provide contact details of a Director on request and confirmation they have approved the application. In certain scenarios we may ask for evidence of this authority. 

Note: Eligible businesses that meet the criteria above are not guaranteed funding through this discretionary scheme.

Further information 

  • This funding is provided as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to support businesses severely impacted by the recent coronavirus restrictions. The funding is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 
  • You must provide the relevant documentation requested in your application. 
  • The government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as will any grants paid in error. 
  • If it is later identified your payment has been made in error (as a result of either party) you will be required to refund the grant payment made. 
  • Please be advised that you may be contacted for research purposes by the London Borough of Sutton, the Government or their third parties. Your data will be held, processed and retained securely by the London Borough of Sutton for a period of 10 years following the closure of the ARG fund in line with government guidelines. It will be shared with other teams across the Council and third parties for the purpose of assessing, verifying and processing your application, reporting, responding to statutory requests, post-payment monitoring and for the detection and prevention of fraud and error. This includes checks on your bank account / details conducted through the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). Your information will be shared with others, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service and their third parties for reporting, monitoring, evaluation and fraud detection purposes. If a grant is awarded, details will be published through the London Borough of Sutton’s website. Information will be released as required by legislation such as Freedom of Information. The London Borough of Sutton’s full privacy notice is available at Sutton.gov.uk.
  • To be eligible for a grant award, businesses must have appropriate licences, certification and be operating in accordance with industry or government regulations, and will not be considered if they are in breach of any contraventions. Businesses must be compliant with COVID-19 legislation, guidance and secure/safe working regulations. 
  • The payment band will be based on: 
  • The rateable value of the commercial property on 1st April 2021 (where this is available) if the applicant is the ratepayer.
  • If the applicant is not a ratepayer, the evidenced fixed annual commercial property rental/mortgage costs including VAT will be used.
  • If your business started recently and has not received £6,000 business income to date, your application may be considered if you are based in a commercial property and can evidence significant ongoing financial commitments (ie property costs). 
  •  
  • If your circumstances change after you submit your application, you are required to notify us at discretionarygrant@sutton.gov.uk
  • The government has provided the ARG as a fixed allocation to Sutton Council. If there is significant demand, not all eligible businesses applying will receive funding. 
  • If funding remains following this round, the London Borough of Sutton may choose to reopen the fund, potentially with varied eligibility criteria or priorities. It may alternatively or alongside this choose to offer top-ups to original grant awards for all or certain categories of businesses. 

Subsidy Allowances and funding requirements

  • Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Additional Restrictions Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax. Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2021 will fall into the 2020/21 tax year. Payments after 6 April 2021 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.
  • This scheme is covered by three subsidy allowances:
  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met
  • Grants under these three allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).
  • Further information is available here.

You will need to declare the Subsidy you have received as part of your application and which allowance you are covered through.