About the ARG

What is the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and who is it meant to benefit?

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is funding provided to local authorities by Central Government to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is to help businesses that are not eligible for other business support grants and for businesses in specific sectors particularly vulnerable within the London Borough of Bexley. It is down to each local authority to devise and administer grant schemes that will be most helpful to their business communities and local economies.

Please take time to read the full guidance notes about the grant scheme before applying. It is essential that applicants complete the forms promptly, accurately and in full.

You must provide all requested supporting documentation at the time of application otherwise the processing of your application will be delayed.

Grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applications. Applications completed correctly and including all required documentary evidence will be processed first.

We are now on Phase 4 of the Bexley Additional Restrictions Grant. Here is a summary of the changes we have made for this Phase:

  • self-employed people applying for the grant may be eligible even if they have received (or are eligible for) the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Other conditions still apply (for example proof of ongoing fixed business costs)
  • non-ratepaying businesses occupying commercial premises can receive a top-up ‘ARG Restart’ payment if they are in the following sectors: non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, gym and sports and personal care
  • we have introduced 2 new categories of grant for sectors that continue to lose income due to the ongoing social distancing rules and travel restrictions: one for Licensed restaurants and cafes and the other for businesses in the Travel trade and Events industry. This is for businesses that haven’t applied for ARG previously

If your business is in any of these sectors and you have received a Category A or Category B grant previously you do not need to apply again. We will contact you to let you know if you will be awarded a top-up grant.

Please note that Phase 4 will close to new applications on Friday 18 June (although we reserve the right to extend this deadline if circumstances allow).

Further information on the eligibility criteria and payment amounts is provided in the description of each category below.

Important – there are criteria which apply to all Categories of grant. Please do not apply for the grants if any of the following applies to your business:

  • your main trading address is not within the London Borough of Bexley (you can check whether your trading address is in Bexley at Find your local Council)
  • your business has not yet started trading
  • your business is now in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking off notice
  • your business has exceeded or is likely to exceed the permitted permitted state subsidy limit as set out in the UK: EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). (i.e. you have received more than €325.000 Special Drawing Rights - approximately £335.000 as of 2 March 2021 in Government funds/support over the last three years)

What ARG grants may be applicable to my Bexley businesses?

There are 7 categories of ARG grant available – each designed for businesses meeting certain criteria. Pick the description below that most closely fits your business to find out more about grants that you may be eligible for.

If you have applied previously for the ARG and your original ARG application was eligible you may receive additional top-up payments if you fit one of the above new categories or are eligible for a Restart payment. You do not need to apply again. We will contact you to inform if you are eligible for additional payments. We reserve the right to re-allocate existing applicants to alternative Categories of grant if these are deemed more suitable under the amended criteria set out below.

Apply for the ARG

Category A (including ARG Restart payment) – Support for businesses closed due to lockdowns

A grant for Bexley businesses with under 250 employees in sectors that were legally required to close during any or all the following periods:

  • The 2nd National lockdown (5 November to 1 December 2020 inclusive)
  • Tier 3 Restrictions (16 to 19 December inclusive) – Leisure, Hospitality & Accommodation sectors only
  • Tier 4 Restrictions (20 December 2020 to 4 January 2021 inclusive)
  • The 3rd National lockdown (from 5 January until 11 April 2021)

This grant is only for businesses required to close because of legislation during the above periods and is not available to businesses who have elected to close for other reasons.

Other criteria required to be eligible for this grant:

  • you cannot be a ratepayer. Ratepayers are encouraged to apply for the National Restrictions Support Grant. Please view further guidance on our website to check whether you may be eligible
  • you cannot be a one-person, home-based business. These are encouraged to apply for the Additional Restriction Grant, Category C
  • businesses which have set up a ‘click and collect’ service and restaurants providing a takeaway service will still be able to claim this grant if their substantive business had to close

Eligible businesses will be awarded the following grants, depending upon business size, sector and how long they have been trading:

Size of business (by number of employees*) Micro
(0 to 9 employees)
Small
(0 to 49 employees)
Medium
(50 to 249 employees)
Grant available for 2nd National Lockdown
(5 November to 1 December 2020 inclusive)
£1,500 £1,500 £3,000
Maximum top up grant available for Tier 3, Tier 4 and 3rd National Lockdown
(16 December 2020 to 15 February 2021 inclusive)
£4,580 £4,580 £8,000
Final 3rd lockdown top up grant (16 February to 11 April 2021 inclusive)
(depending upon eligibility criteria)
£3,930 £3,930 £6,875
ARG Restart payment for non-essential retail £2,667 £4,000 £6,000
ARG Restart payment for hospitality, leisure, accommodation, gym and sports and personal care £8,000 £12,000 £18,000
Total maximum grant available
(depending upon eligibility criteria)
£18,010 £22,010 £35,875

* Number of employees is defined as the number of Full Time Equivalent permanent posts on your payroll

If your business has already applied for the ARG Category A grant and meets the criteria for the ARG Restart payment, you do not have to apply again – you will receive an automatic top up payment based on the above table.

Category B – Support grant for businesses indirectly impacted by lockdown closures

A grant for Bexley businesses with under 250 employees that are either linked to sectors forced to close during the second national lockdown or can clearly demonstrate a significant impact on their own sector from the COVID-19 restrictions.

Applicants may be ratepayers or non-ratepayers.

Applicants must show they meet at least one of the following conditions

a) in the supply chain for closed sectors (e.g. food/catering wholesalers supplying restaurants and pubs)
b) reliant on closed businesses in a fundamental way (e.g. a shopfitting contractor would be impacted because many retailers are closed and not investing)
c) in another sector which has suffered a significant decline in activity due to COVID-19 restrictions

Other criteria required to be eligible for this grant:

  • your business must have started trading on or before 31 March
  • you must not be eligible for the National Restrictions Support Grant. Please view further guidance on our website to check eligibility
  • you must clearly demonstrate significant impact on business income and provide relevant financial evidence
  • you cannot be a single person, home-based business. These are encouraged to apply for the Additional Restriction Grant, Category C

Eligible businesses will be awarded the following grants, depending upon business size and how long they have been trading:

Size of business (by number of employees*) Micro
(0 to 9 employees)
Small
(10 to 49 employees)
Medium
(50 to 249 employees)
Grant available for 2nd National Lockdown
(5 November to 1 December 2020 inclusive)
£1,000 £1,500 £2,500
Maximum top-up grant available for Tier 4 and 3rd National Lockdown
(20 December 2020 to 15 February 2021 inclusive)
£3,215 £4,290 £6,430
Final 3rd lockdown top up grant (16 February to 11 April 2021 inclusive) £2,950 £3,930 £5,895
Total maximum grant available
(depending upon eligibility criteria)
£7,165 £9,720 £14,825

* Number of employees is defined as the number of Full Time Equivalent permanent posts on your payroll

Category C – One-person, home-based business support grant

A grant for one-person, home-based businesses (Self-employed or sole Directors of Ltd companies) who can demonstrate significant hardship as a result of COVID-19. If you have already attempted to apply for the ARG Category C grant previously but were rejected due to your eligibility for SEISS, please apply again, as this is no longer a criteria for this scheme.

Criteria required to be eligible for this grant:

  • you must be able to provide information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your business and demonstrate a significant reduction in business income as a result
  • you must show that you have unavoidable ongoing fixed business costs that are not related to wages or employment of staff (or normal household costs such as domestic mortgage or rent payments). Fixed business costs could, for example, include the costs of renting or leasing a vehicle (e.g., a taxi) or business insurances (e.g., public liability insurance) or professional membership fees required to operate your business
  • if a small company Director, you must have a total gross individual income (from both PAYE and Dividend income) of no more than £50,000 per annum (in the last tax year). This figure should exclude pension contributions received from the company
  • you must provide evidence showing consecutive months of income derived from trading (preferably pre-March 2020), in order to evidence a genuine loss of income due to Covid19

An individual will only be able to apply once for the Category C grant, even if the owner or Director of multiple businesses.

Businesses with multiple directors or partners, or with employees should apply under Category A or Category B.

Eligible businesses will be awarded a one-off grant of £3,500.

Category D - Covid Support Package for independent Pubs, Bars and Sports and Social Clubs

For Bexley-based businesses in these sectors:

  • Public Houses
  • Bars
  • Licensed Social and Sports Clubs

Other criteria:

  • your business must have started trading on or before 31 March
  • you must have less than 250 employees in the overall business (i.e. not national chains)
  • you must clearly demonstrate a significant impact on your business income
  • you must show a commitment to re-open your venue once government guidance allows
  • applicants may be ratepayers or non-ratepayers

The grant will be based upon the length of time you have been trading and the Rateable Value (RV) of your premises or your annual fixed commercial property costs (i.e. rent or mortgage payments) if RV not available. The levels of payment are as follows:

RV or annual fixed commercial property costs Minimum grant available Maximum grant available
Up to £15k £2,950 £8,950
£15,001 to £50,999 £4,910 £14,910
£51k or higher £6,875 £20,875

Non-ratepayer businesses in this category may also be eligible for a Category A / Restart grant if they meet the criteria.

Category E – Support grant for Special Treatment Licence holders

A grant for those in the London Borough of Bexley who hold a Special Treatment Licence.

To assist these businesses with unavoidable regulatory costs whilst being forced to close, the Council will award each Special Treatment Licence holder a one-off grant of £1,000.

Applying for this grant does not stop you from applying for any other business grants.

In order to receive this grant:

  • you must have a valid Special Treatment Licence that has not expired
  • your business must be based at an address in Bexley
  • your business must have started before 20 December 2020
  • if you are a registered business, it should not be being wound up or in administration

We have written to all the Special Treatment Licence holders individually offering this support, but if you think you have missed this communication please email dg2@bexley.gov.uk stating the name of your business and quoting your current Licence Number and you will be given instructions on how to apply.

Category F – Licensed Restaurants, Cafes and Theatre venues

For Bexley-based businesses in these sectors:

  • licensed restaurants or cafes
  • other licensed premises such as Theatre venues

Other criteria:

  • you must have less than 250 employees in the overall business (i.e. not national chains)
  • you must clearly demonstrate a significant impact on your business income
  • you must show a commitment to fully re-open your venue once government guidance allows
  • applicants may be ratepayers or non-ratepayers
  • applicants cannot be eligible for a Category D grant (for pubs, bars and sports / social clubs)

Eligible businesses will be awarded a one-off grant of £3,500.

This is offered in addition to any other grants (including ARG grants) for which the applicant may be eligible. If your application is assessed as also meeting the criteria for another category of ARG grant, we will inform you.

Category G – Travel / Tourism and Event management industry

For Bexley-based businesses within these sectors:

  • travel and tourism – including:
    • airline ticket agency
    • coach tour operators
    • tour, cruise or safari operators or agents
    • travel agents
    • or related businesses
  • Events services – including:
    • dry cleaners / laundry services
    • event caterers
    • event organisers - for wedding, parties etc
    • event vehicle hire including chauffeur services
    • event venues - halls, hotels, theatres (excluding Pubs, Bars, Social or Sports Clubs)
    • formal wear hire
    • or related businesses

Other criteria:

  • you must have less than 250 employees in the overall business (i.e. not national chains)
  • you must clearly demonstrate a significant impact on your business income due to Covid19 restrictions
  • applicants cannot be eligible for a Category D grant (for pubs, bars and sports / social clubs)
  • applicants cannot be a single person, home-based business. These are encouraged to apply for the Additional Restriction Grant, Category C
  • applicants may be ratepayers or non-ratepayers

Eligible businesses will be awarded a one-off grant of £3,500.

This is offered in addition to any other grants (including ARG grants) for which the applicant may be eligible. If your application is assessed as also meeting the criteria for another category of ARG grant, we will inform you.

What happens after my application is submitted?

Using the information provided by you, we will carry out due diligence checks and review the evidence that you submitted to ensure your business qualifies. Speculative, false, fraudulent or incomplete applications will be rejected.

It is not possible to provide a precise turnaround time for payment as this is dependent on factors such as the backlog of submissions, the complexities of some businesses in relation to the eligibility criteria and external factors such as bank payment processing times.

Payments will be made to qualifying businesses via BACS payments to the bank account details supplied.

We will inform successful applicants, but if you do not hear from us within 14 working days of the closing date (18 June 2021), please assume your application has been unsuccessful.

Can I appeal a decision about my grant application?

There is no right of appeal and the Council’s decision will be final.

Fraudulent applications

The Council reserves the right to independently check information provided by applicants and request further information if required. If found to be false after an award has been made, we will institute recovery processes for the repayment of any monies paid and consider taking appropriate legal action. In addition, the Council reserves the right to recover any payments made in error.

Important: Beware of scammers

Please beware of third parties offering to act on your behalf for a fee. The process is free, straightforward and only requires you to provide information already available to you.

We are aware that scam emails are also being sent to businesses, falsely claiming to be from the Council, saying that businesses have been paid grants in error and they need to be returned and include bank details for payments to be made. These emails should be ignored.

Bexley Additional Restrictions Grant Privacy Notice

The London Borough of Bexley takes your privacy seriously. This notice sets out what we will do with your personal information and who we may share it with.

How we use your information

We collect your information to undertake assessment of applications for Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), to enable us to make payments for those successful applications and to contact you in respect of your application or any related support which may assist your business.

In doing so, we may collect:

  • contact details (name / address / telephone number)
  • financial information about your business
  • information about staffing in your business
  • information about activities of your business
  • copies of business bank statements to prove your business address and financial status
  • your latest business accounts
  • Unique Tax Reference Number
  • Company Number / Charities Commission number
  • copies of identification documents (e.g. copy of passport photo page or driving license)

The personal information you provide will not be used for any other purpose unless required by law, to prevent or detect crime or to protect public funds.

Length of time we keep your information

We will keep your personal information for 7 years from successful award of the funding (6 years plus the current year). We will keep data on unsuccessful applicants for 6 months only (in case of follow up queries or complaints).

Sharing your information

So that the Council can provide you with an efficient service, we may occasionally need to share your information with partner organisations that support the delivery of the service you receive. This may include organisations such as OneSource who are contracted to the Council for management of payments.

Your information will be shared with the Government upon request. The information will be used by the Government for monitoring and evaluation purposes, as well as for prevention and detection of fraud and/or other criminal activities, and for suspension and/or recovery of the grant where necessary. The Government may share information for the purpose of counter fraud activity and debt recovery with other government departments, agencies and/or local authorities.

Where information is shared, the Council has written agreements and protocols in place to ensure that your data is secure and protected to the same levels that the Council requires.

Your information will at all times be shared and stored in accordance with all relevant data protection requirements such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Your data will not be shared or stored in or be accessible to any country with no UK-equivalent Privacy Law protection.

Individual rights

You have a number of rights under the General Data Protection Regulations. To exercise these rights, please contact:

  • by email dg2@bexley.gov.uk
  • or write to Economic Development Team, London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT

The Data Controller for your information

The Data Controller for the information you provide for this service is the London Borough of Bexley and the Data Protection Officer is Nick Hollier, Data Protection Officer, London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT.

You can contact the Data Protection Officer

  • by email to data.protection@bexley.gov.uk
  • telephone 020 8303 7777
  • or write to them at London Borough of Bexley, Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT

The right to lodge a complaint

If you are not happy with how we have handled your personal data, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner's Office to make a complaint. You can:

  • telephone them on 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
  • visit their website at www.ico.org.uk
  • Write to them at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF