Background
Background

Decision details

Receipt and spend of grant for business support - ARG

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Background information:

1. In response to the restrictions imposed on 5 November 2020, the government announced that there would be support for businesses unable to access other grant funding. This grant fund is referred to as the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme.

2. Copeland was awarded £1,363,660 under tranche 1, which coincided with the second national lockdown between 5 November 2020 and 2 December 2020. This was topped up during the third national lockdown in January 2021 by £605,673. This was topped up by a further £444,277 in July 2021, which was following the Government’s decision to delay stage 4 of the Roadmap. As a result of the Omicron variant, Councils will be topped up again in January 22. Copeland will receive £96,023.

3. The following businesses will be supported under this scheme:

i. Businesses with fixed property costs that are specifically excluded from the business rates system, or are not the direct ratepayer and are therefore not eligible for mandatory grant support, including B

ii. Freelance and mobile businesses, including caterers, event organisers, personal care and wedding related businesses;

iii. Transport and travel businesses, including travel agents, coach and group travel operators, couriers and taxi drivers;

iv. Wholesalers or supply chain companies supplying the non-essential retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including breweries;

v. Sector specific businesses that are impacted as a result of the Omicron variant, such as hospitality and leisure businesses;

vi. Any other business forced to close due to a COVID outbreak, which has insufficient staff available to trade and/or will lose stock as a consequence. Further evidence will be required.

4. Copeland will launch the new scheme in January 2022.

5. Copeland Borough Council will maintain a record of grant expenditure under this scheme.

6. In accordance with Financial Regulations the decision on whether to accept grants between £75,001 and £150,000 is delegated to the Head of Paid Service in consultation chief finance officer with the relevant portfolio holder.

Delegated Power Being Exercised:

(a) The receiving and distributing of a section 31 grant for £96,023 under the Additional Restrictions grant scheme (ARG). The budget is set to increase by that sum; and

(b)The decision to distribute the above grants to all qualifying businesses in accordance with the attached policy document.

Others Consulted:
Section 151 Officer: Agreed by email dated 13th January 2022.
Portfolio Holder: Agreed by email dated 13th January 2022.

Reason for Decision:
It is necessary to deliver the Government’s response to Covid-19 in relation to business support.

Background Reports:
COVID-19 Business Support Grant Funding Schemes– Local Authority Guidance – Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme (updated 30 December 2021 version).

Decision:

To receive a section 31 grant for £96,023 (with the consequential increase to the Council’s budget) and to distribute it as advised by Government.

Alternative options considered:

None

Publication date: 13/01/2022

Date of decision: 13/01/2022

 

Original text