Nearly 90% of £ 1.6bn Extra Restrictions Permit cash to be paid
Almost 90% of the additional £ 1.6 billion Restrictions Grant funding promised in October remains to be disbursed.
Thousands of companies across England are facing further job losses or bankruptcies as local authorities are slow to receive additional restrictions. Give money out the door, says the Event Industry Alliance, an event industry organization.
The government initially announced £ 1 billion in Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funds to help companies forced to close four months ago due to Covid-19 restrictions. In January the ARG Funds Pot was expanded by an additional £ 594m in cash.
> See also: Local authorities blame the government for the slow release of Covid-19 grants
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, including events, are eligible for one-time grants of up to £ 3,000 each.
However, according to the EIA, only £ 1.4bn has been paid out by local authorities in England to date.
Businesses appear to be facing a zip code lottery where some councils aren’t yet to make payments while a handful have distributed a significant portion of the funds.
Overall, local authorities spent an average of 13 percent of the ARG grants received on February 9.
However, some local authorities have fared much worse, notably the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (4 percent), West Oxfordshire District Council (4 percent) and Herefordshire Council (5 percent).
And the Ealing Council still had to make a single ARG payment despite receiving £ 9.9m in funding.
> See also: £ 9000 Lockdown Grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
The ESSA based its research on 400 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to local authorities across England.
Andrew Harrison, Director of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), part of the EIA, said: “We urge the UK Government and local MPs across England to provide local authorities with clear guidelines on how to grant the grant for additional restrictions so that payments are made to eligible companies as soon as possible.
“Events and exhibition companies have had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions and will therefore need adequate financial support if they are not allowed to operate. It is now up to the local authorities to ensure that the sector receives adequate economic support. “
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