Businesses in Preston set to receive more Covid recovery funding

Posted on - 15th March, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Preston's skyline Pic: Mick Gardner
Preston’s skyline Pic: Mick Gardner

Due to the rise in the Omicron variant, the government has awarded Preston City Council an additional £237,619 to support businesses in the area that have been severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.


The conditional funding is being provided through March 2022 in the form of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme and payments after this month will come to an end.

The Council currently holds residual funds of £118k and when pooled with funds allocated under this latest announcement the ARG fund stands at £355k.

On 8 August 2020, the Covid-19 Local Restrictions Support Policy was implemented which included the ARG scheme to counteract the Coronavirus outbreak. The scheme has since paid out over £4.9m in grants, supporting 626 businesses of all sectors in the area.

Read more: Sir Lindsay Hoyle visits Lancashire Resilience Hub to mark pandemic achievements

The new ARG scheme will support those businesses with a rateable value, together with those businesses not on the rating list that continue to be severely impacted by the Omicron variant.

Appropriate levels of grant will be determined, taking into account the rateable value if applicable; the level of fixed costs faced by the business; the number of employees; whether they were unable to trade online, and the scale of Covid-19 losses, with awards ranging from £500 to £3,000 for the period December 2021 to January 2022 with payment made as a lump sum.

The Council may provide additional support to larger local businesses which are important to the local economy, or considered of significant historic importance to the city.

An evaluation panel consisting of the Interim Chief Internal Auditor, Director of Resources and Chief Officer (Revenues and Benefits) will review and assess all applications.

Read more: Lancashire County Council’s Covid-19 vaccine work praised by government

Due to limited funds and to best distribute the £355k, an eligibility criteria has been set that businesses must meet in order to receive the Additional Restrictions Grant. The impact statement reveals the business:

  1. must be based in Preston
  2. was open and trading up to the date that the restrictions that have severely impacted the business came into force (i.e. 17 October 2020, 1 April 2021). For those impacted by the Omicron variant the business must be trading and meet other eligibility criteria in order to qualify for grant funding.
  3. has fixed business related costs that have not reduced due to the additional local restrictions, widespread national restrictions, or impact of Omicron variant. Examples of fixed business related costs are rent, business mortgage, insurance, utilities, phone contract, ongoing maintenance contracts, franchise payments, vehicle costs, professional body memberships, subscription licences (including ICT software) and loan repayments; and
  4. has been severely impacted or closed as a consequence of the additional restrictions imposed by the move to local or widespread national restrictions.
  5. has been severely impacted due to the rise of the Omicron variant.

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