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Grants for events businesses: Local Authorities given power to provide funding

Local Authorities are to be given extra funding with guidance from central Government stating clearly that it can be used to help businesses in the events industry.

In updates to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), Local Authorities can determine how much funding to provide to businesses from the funding provided, and exactly which businesses to target.

The news comes on the same day that the DCMS confirmed events for up to 30 can continue during the national lockdown, and the extension of the furlough and SEISS schemes.

The guidance from central Government said: “We encourage Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19. This could include – for example – businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector.”

Local Authorities have also been given to the power to assist businesses outside the typical business rates system, which have also been effectively forced to close, for example market traders.

The guidance also says that Local Authorities could use ARG funding to provide additional support to larger local businesses which are important to the local economy, on top of the funding provided to those businesses via the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, which is activated under Government-imposed restrictions.

When determining the size of the grant, the guidance issued advises Local Authorities to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, such as the number of employees, whether they are unable to trade online and the consequent scale of Covid-19 losses.

To comply with State Aid laws, the guidance added: “The grant amounts given to individual businesses will be subject to state aid limits.”

Read the guidance to Local Authorities here.