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Local restrictions support grants (for open businesses)

The application closing date was 31 March 2021

This grant is for businesses in Merton that did not have to close but which were severely impacted due to Local COVID Alert Level restrictions: by this we mean if your business was mandated to close early by the new restrictions or the operation of your business was directly affected by the restrictions regarding socialising indoors. For example, venues selling food and drink. Please check on the link below if your business was subject to these restrictions or closures.

Government guidance

This strand of Local Restriction Support Grant was announced 22 October 2020 to help kick-start recovery for businesses.

Full Government guidance 

Merton’s policy

Properties benefitting from the discretionary grant

This is support for businesses that are not legally required to close but which are severely impacted by the localised restrictions on socialising put in place to manage coronavirus and save lives.

Priority will be given to hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast (that pay business rates) and leisure businesses for grants funding in this scheme.

Level of grants

The Government guidance states the following levels of grant:

  1. Grants of up to £934 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions. 
  2. Grants of up to £1,400 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.
  3. Grants of up to £2,100 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions

As Merton were in tier 2 restrictions for the period 17 October to 4 November 2020 (19 days) the awards will be pro rata for the period.

For the period 17 October to 4 November 2020 the payments will be:

  1. Grants of up to £634 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.
  2. Grants of up to £950 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions.
  3. Grants of up to £1,425 per 28-day period for businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the date of the commencement of the local restrictions

Businesses eligible for a discretionary grant will be entitled to receive one grant per business (not one per business premises) within the lockdown zone in each 28 day qualifying period. A grant may be paid to the same businesses or to different eligible businesses in subsequent qualifying periods.

Merton’s approach

We will invite applications from mid-December for the grants due for the period 17 October to 4 November 2020. Applications will be required to be made via an online form on our website. Businesses will be required to provide information and evidence to support the claim via the online form.

This evidence will be required to validate the claim and captured to provide to the Government. This information will include, evidence of property costs, bank details for the business, number of employees, type of business.

Businesses will be required to confirm that they meet the criteria, and that the amount of relief is not in excess of State Aid limits. (See the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)

There will be pre and post payment checks undertaken.

Exclusions from the discretionary grant

Businesses that are able to continue to trade because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services at least partly online (e.g. solicitors, accountants, tutors).

Businesses in areas outside the scope of the localised restrictions, as defined by Government will not be eligible.

Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of State aid permitted under the de minimis and the Covid-19 Temporary State Aid Framework.

For the avoidance of doubt, businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made at the date of the local lockdown are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Businesses still subject to national closures (e.g. nightclubs) will not be eligible

Funding

We have received £360,853.

If the grants paid for the period 17 October to 3 November 2020 exceed the funding of £360,853 the shortfall will be supported from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) discretionary scheme.

If the grants paid for the period 17 October to 3 November 2020 is less than the funding the unused funding will be rolled forward to the next Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open) Tier 2 scheme and the level of grants may be increased.

Further restrictions

If we move into local restrictions after the national lockdown, or at any stage in the future this policy and scheme will be re-instigated. Where possible we will make awards without further applications.

Depending on the level of future funding and number of applications we cannot guarantee that the recommended level of grants detailed above will be paid.

Decision making

Decisions will be made by Senior Officers in Revenues Service and approved by the Head of Revenues and Benefits on behalf of the Director of Corporate Services.

The business will be notified of the decision by email.

The progress and results from the grants scheme will be reported to the Corporate Management Team

Appeals

Merton is not required to provide a right of appeal against any decision. This is because grants awarded under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) scheme are discretionary awards.

Merton will work with applicants to make sure they provide the necessary evidence to support a successful application.

We operate a complaints process for dissatisfied service.

Timetable

Task Time frame
Director of Corporate Services decision3 December 2020
Call in period ends9 December 2020
Software due 11 December 2020
Testing of software and web form11 to 16 December 2020 
Communications campaign starts 17 December 2020  
Applications go live 21 December 2020
Review of applications start18 December 2020
Commence payments18 December 2020
Report back to Corporate Management Team26 January 2021
​​Applications close 31 March 2021