Thanet council has set up a new team to focus on processing Additional Restrictions Grants (ARGs) for businesses legally forced to close due to government restrictions but which do not pay business rates or for those that could remain open but were severely impacted by the national lockdown.
The team, which is made up of members of the council’s finance department, aim to ensure faster payments are made and to give more timely responses to queries and appeals.
The team, which has also been processing the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs, has been working through outstanding applications and reviewing appeals. Last week it paid 160 ARG grants worth over £200,000 for the November lockdown.
The team has been 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 or either £5,064 or £7,596 for larger businesses.
This 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: