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March 2021
#TWBiz  
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council COVID-19 Grants Update
Additional Restrictions Grant for Businesses , deadline not long to go

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) has launched a number of new Covid-19 business support grants as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme which is discretionary.
 
Please note the closing date for all applications is 11:59pm on Sunday 21 March 2021.

We would encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible.
 
For further information about all of these schemes, as well as the application forms, please visit the TWBC website.
 
1. Additional Restrictions Grant Round 3
The ARG Round 3 is intended to help businesses over the period of national restrictions in the third national lockdown (5 January 2021 – 15 February 2021). This grant can be applied for by:
  • Businesses in any sector, whether they have had to close as a result of the restrictions or have been able to remain open or partially open (except those previously in receipt of the ARG Round 3 or LRSG Closed)
  • Businesses in premises either rated, or non-rated (or those not liable for rate payments).
Businesses that wish to apply for the ARG 3 must be able to provide clear evidence of:
  • The business trading in the borough on 5 January 2021
  • A significant reduction in income of at least 30% caused by the Covid-19 restrictions for the period Tuesday 5 January 2021 - Monday 15 February 2021
  • Fixed business costs incurred between 5 January – 15 February 2021 (excluding staffing).
2. Indoor & Outdoor Leisure ARG Top Up Payment 
This ARG Top Up payment will be available to indoor and outdoor leisure businesses, which are the business rates payer, that have been told to close and have not been able to operate the substantive part of their business.
 
The Council is including the following business sectors in this category of ‘Indoor and Outdoor Leisure’:
  • Equestrian Activities (riding schools, stables etc)
  • Golf Courses
  • Curling Rinks
  • Bowling Alleys/ Indoor Bowling Centres
  • Fishing Lakes/Lodges
  • Paintball/ Rifle Clubs
  • Climbing/ Tree Top Activities 
This payment will be in addition to, not instead of, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).
 
If you have already been in receipt of funding under the LRSG (Closed), no further evidence will be required from you.  Businesses will be asked to confirm that they were trading on 5 January 2021 and still occupy their premise.
  
3. Gyms and Exercise Studios ARG Top Up Payment
This payment will be available to Gyms and Exercise Studios, which are the business rates payer, that have been told to close and have not been able to operate the substantive part of their business.
 
The Council is including the following business sectors in this category of ‘Gyms and Exercise Studios’:
  • Gyms
  • Pilates and Yoga Studios
  • Spin Studios
  • Dance Schools and Studios
  • Health and Fitness Clubs
  • Martial Arts and Self Defence Clubs
This payment will be in addition to, not instead of, the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).
 
If you have already been in receipt of funding under the LRSG (Closed), no further evidence will be required from you.  Businesses will be asked to confirm that they were trading on 5 January 2021 and still occupy their premise.
 
4. Nurseries, Pre-schools and After School Clubs ARG
This payment will be available to children’s nurseries, pre-schools and registered after school clubs. The applicant must be the business rate payer and childcare must be the substantive part of their business.
 
This payment can be applied for in addition to applications for the ARG Round 3.
 
Businesses will be asked to provide proof of:
  • A business bank statement dated within the last 3 months
  • Confirmation that the business was trading in the borough on 5 January 2021
  • Confirmation that the business continues to occupy their premise.
5. Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licenced Drivers) ARG 
This grant is available to individuals who hold a valid and current Hackney Carriage / Private Hire licence issued by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. The grant to be awarded is a one off lump sum payment of £1,000.

Licenced drivers registered with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have been directly contacted by the TWBC Licensing team via email inviting them to apply. If you believe that you are eligible for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licenced Drivers) ARG scheme, but have not received an email, please contact businesscovid19@tunbridgewells.gov.uk  to discuss your eligibility for the scheme.

If however, you believe that you meet the criteria of the ARG Round 3 (please refer to ARG scheme at point 1 above), we would encourage you to make an application for this in the first instance.

If you do not, then please apply for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licenced Drivers) ARG scheme.

Please note:
  • If your taxi driver licence is suspended you will not be eligible
  • If you are a taxi business and have a registered business rates number, you are not eligible for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licensed Drivers) Grant. Please see if you are eligible to apply under ARG Round 3
  • You can only receive one of these grants, either the ARG Round 3 grant or the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licensed Drivers) Grant, not both
  • Drivers who apply for the ARG Round 3, but are not successful, will automatically be considered for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licensed Drivers) Grant. Please do not apply for both schemes
  • If you are a taxi driver who lives in the borough of  Tunbridge Wells, but you are not licenced in Tunbridge Wells borough, you are unfortunately not able to apply for the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire (Licenced Drivers) ARG scheme. You can however apply under the ARG Round 3, providing you meet the eligibility criteria and can show proof that you are trading in the borough of Tunbridge Wells (see point 1 above)
  • If you have received a grant under ARG Round 1 or Round 2, you are not eligible to apply for this.
If you have any further queries about any of these schemes mentioned below, please contact a member of the Economic Development team via businesscovid19@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

LOCAL RESTRICTIONS SUPPORT GRANT (LRSG CLOSED)

Government have recently announced that the deadline for applications for the following tranches of the LRSG Closed is 31 March 2021: 
  • National Lockdown - 5 November – 1 December 2020
  • Tier 3 restrictions from 2 December 2020
  • Tier 4 restrictions from 20 December 2020
  • National Lockdown 5 January – 15 February 2021
  • Closed Business Lockdown Payment
If you are eligible for, but have not yet applied for a grant for the above time periods, please submit an application as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss your eligibility with a member of the team, please email businesscovid19@tunbridgewells.gov.uk
 
The deadline for applications for the most recent instalment of the LRSG Closed (16 February – 31 March 2021) is 31 May 2021.

The Kent & Medway Growth Hub COVID helpline remains in place to help protect local resources and provide additional support to Kent businesses.

The web chat is still available on their website as well as the phone line in the above image. 

West Kent Partnership Business Support - free
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