Decision details

RULE 4 and RULE 16 - COVID19 Business Support Grants: Additional Restrictions Grant Policy

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Resources

Decision status: Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The government has announced a further Covid-19 business support funding package to be administered by Local Authorities. The funding is available either at the point the area enters tier 3 local restrictions or on the imposition of national restrictions. National restrictions came into effect on 5th November 2020 triggering the need to implement the business support schemes in all Local Authority areas.

Decision:

The Cabinet Member agrees to:

 

1)  Approve the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme policy as set out in Appendix 1.

2)  Delegate the application of the grant fund to the Director of Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Resources, the CX, and the Monitoring Officer to ensure the grant is distributed within the £3.866m government funding, with fair distribution across the eligible business groups.

Reasons for the decision:

A package of business support grants has been announced by the government to support businesses impacted by the restrictions implemented to try and prevent the spread of Covid 19. There are two main grant schemes as follows:

·  Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme – to support businesses required to close as a result of national restrictions being put in place. This is operated under national guidance to businesses who are liable for Business Rates.

·  Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme – local authority run discretionary scheme to support businesses more broadly that are severely impacted by the new restrictions.

 

This decision relates to the policy for administering the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant scheme.

 

The West of England unitary authorities (Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council) and the West of England Combined Authority have developed a regional policy to provide some consistency in the additional support available to businesses across the wider region.

 

The proposed policy is attached to the decision report as Appendix 1. The policy sets out how the fund will operate including, criteria for grants, eligible businesses, exclusions from the scheme and individual grant levels.

 

This decision is to be made under part 4G Rule 4 and Part 4B Rule 16 of the council’s constitution as an urgent decision. This matter is urgent because the council needs to implement the Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme at pace to allow the grant application process to be opened urgently, so that support to businesses impacted by Covid19 and the national restrictions can be provided as quickly as possible.

Alternative options considered:

Various grant levels were considered across the eligible businesses, a limit on individual grants of up to £1,500 is proposed to enable the Council to support as many businesses as possible within the funding available

Publication date: 13/11/2020

Date of decision: 13/11/2020

Accompanying Documents: