A week ago, the council set up a new team to focus entirely on Additional Restrictions Grants (ARGs). This team, which is made up of members of the council’s Finance department, will be able to ensure faster payments are made to local businesses and more timely responses to queries and appeals.
ARGs are grant applications for businesses that were legally forced to close due to government restrictions but do not pay business rates or for those that could remain open but were severely impacted by the national lockdown.
The team, who has also been processing the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs, has been busy working through outstanding applications and reviewing appeals. This week it will have paid 160 ARG grants worth over £200,000 for the November lockdown.
This week, the team will be combining ARGs for the periods of lockdown right up to the middle of February. These will be worth £3,378 for most of the 160 businesses, but either £5,064 or £7,596 for larger businesses. Overall, we will be paying out over £500,000 on top of the £200,000. Next week, the focus will be on making the January one-off top up grants to the same businesses.
Cllr Rob Yates, Cabinet Member for Finance, Administration and Community Wealth Building at Thanet District Council said:
“In order to speed up the response times to businesses for ARGs we have set up a dedicated team to take control of the ARG grant process. This will result in faster payments and faster responses to queries and appeals for these grants. There will be two payment runs a week – on a Tuesday and Thursday.
“We know that some people are still waiting to hear back from us in regards to ARG applications and we apologise. We also know that some people have appealed the decisions and are waiting to hear back from us. We are now in a position to speed up our responses.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for businesses and we appreciate the stress that this may be causing. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure swift grant payments to businesses that meet the required criteria. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
For more information and details of other business support available:
– visit our COVID-19 business support pages
– email email@example.com to sign-up for updates direct to your inbox
– request to join our Thanet Business Support Facebook Group
– call the business support line (03333 602300), delivered by the Kent & Medway Growth Hub, between 8:30am and 5pm Monday – Friday.