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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme launched for West Berkshire Businesses

West Berkshire Council has been awarded £3.17 million from national Government to support businesses across the district that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.

Covid Business support grants

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding is to help those businesses which, while not legally forced to close, are nonetheless severely impacted by the four-week national restrictions from 5 November until 2 December 2020.

It is intended that this funding should be used to support businesses affected by the restrictions until the end of the 2021/22 financial year. This could include:

  • businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • businesses in the events sector
  • business required to close but which do not pay business rates 

Cllr Ross Mackinnon, Executive Member for Finance and Economic Development at West Berkshire Council, said:

"We know businesses are going through a difficult time again under the national restrictions but the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides us with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted.

"We are pleased to get the system up and running so quickly and to have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. ARGs will be assessed and awarded by the Business Rates Team as quickly as possible."

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) are allocated in the following four categories: 

  • Part A - Support for non-rate-paying businesses who have been forced to close due to new national restrictions, but have ongoing fixed property related costs, such as rent in shared working spaces.
  • Part B - Support for businesses which are ancillary to the hospitality, retail and leisure industries and who have not received any business grants administered by the Council to date. This focuses upon businesses which have not specifically been required to close, but have lost their main source of revenue as a result of national restrictions upon the industries to which they provide goods or services.
  • Part C - A 'hardship' fund for rate-paying businesses that did not receive support under the previous grant schemes administered by West Berkshire Council and who require further support due to demonstrable financial vulnerability. They may have received the LRSG, although not necessarily.
  • Part D - A 'hardship' fund for non-rate-paying businesses which have not received support under the previous grant schemes administered by West Berkshire Council or the schemes outlined in Parts A-C.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit our specific Covid information for businesses page.