Cornwall: Additional Restrictions Grant Update 09/02/2021

We understand that Cornwall Council are currently writing to applicants of the Additional Restrictions Grant issued in January 2021.

Summary:

– Total applications (£26m) more than doubled the amount available (£11m)
– The council are requesting additional funds from the Treasury
– Eligible applicants will receive approximately 50% of the amount available if no further funding sourced.
– The process is expected to be complete in six months and the council ask for patience whilst this is in hand.

Full Letter Below:

“Now the application window has closed, I’m writing to you with more information about how we will process claims and what the next steps will be. Cornwall has been allocated £11.5m by government for the ARG, to support local businesses who have been unable to access other forms of coronavirus financial assistance or are severely impacted by the restrictions in place.

By the time the application window closed on Sunday 31 January, we had received more than 3,750 applications – representing an ask of more than £26m in grant support. While it is highly likely that not all applications will be eligible for a payment, we anticipate that the vast majority of applications will have come from businesses who meet the eligibility requirements. As a result the Council, in line with our Additional Restrictions Grant Policy, has had to make a decision about how best to fairly distribute the money to ensure as many businesses as possible can receive a payment. As such, all businesses that are eligible for a grant will receive a guaranteed 50% of the maximum amounts available in each category, or the amount they have specifically asked for if less than 50%. Please note that if you received an ARG award in November, this will be deducted from the maximum available (see policy for full explanation).

We are contacting the Chancellor urgently to ask him to release funding (from Government money originally sent to Cornwall for COVID business grants) to enable us to get 100% of what applicants have asked for in our categories. However, unless this is agreed we will not be able to pay applicants the full amount they asked for. I appreciate that this is not the news you were hoping for, but as the total request for funds was more than double the amount available, this decision ensures we can make payments to all those who are eligible.

The team are now assessing the high number of applications received and despite the high number of resources that have been assigned to this task, I expect it will take up to six weeks to complete this process. Please be assured we know how urgently these funds are needed. However, processing these applications is no small task and we will start making payments as soon as we can.

Please try to avoid contacting the team for an update on the status of your application, the team’s priority is to process applications so we can start making payments as soon as possible. If you received a confirmation email after submitting your application, then we have your application and will process it. We will be in touch if we need more information from you and will send you an email if you are due to receive a payment explaining the amount you will receive. Please be aware that there is no appeals process against any decision made. As I have explained we are working with Cornwall’s business leaders to make the case to Government for more funding. Should more funding be made available to Cornwall for the ARG, I will be in touch.

Finally, if our request to Government is refused, we will look again at the remaining budget after the 50% payments are all made to eligible businesses. If we can get more money to businesses to top this up we will. However, we do not expect that to be a significant amount if Government does not agree to our request for the extra funding to enable us to get you what you need.

We will work tirelessly to lobby ministers on this, because we know how difficult business is for you at this time. Yours sincerely,

Cllr Tim Dwelly
Cabinet Member for Economy
Cornwall Council

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