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Coronavirus Advice For Businesses

National Lockdown Restriction Grants
Grant Name Who for? How much?

How to apply

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

Business required to close that pay business rates

£1,334 - £3,000 for the 28 day period

Check the policy through this link and apply for LRSG.

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary) (ARG) 

Business required to close that doesn’t pay business rates OR business that is open but severely impacted by client businesses required to close

Up to £3,000 for the 28 day period. Levels are discretionary so may be less than this.

Check the policy through this link and apply for ARG.

Find out the list of businesses required to close

Growth Hub banner reading: "Business Recovery Helpline - Advice and support when you need it the most. Call 03333 602300 - phone lines open 08:30-17:00 Monday to Friday

The Government has recently updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses. It has also made an Eligibility Checker for loans, tax relief and cash grants for your business.

The Kent & Medway Growth Hub is operating a Coronavirus hotline that is open to all Ashford businesses to provide advice and support. Call 03333 602300 8:30am-5pm Monday-Friday to speak with an adviser.

Stay up to date with our Business Support newsletter.

Environmental Health are working closely with Trading Standards and the Police in enforcing local and national business closure regulations. Please email us if you need case-specific guidance.

You may also wish to view our service disruption page for specific advice on the impacts on Licensing and Environmental Health, such as application changes, social distancing in the workplace guidance and food safety requirements.

Certain companies have a legal responsibility to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises, and to display NHS QR code posters.

If you are a company that is offering to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) please contact us by sending an email to PPE@ashford.gov.uk.

The NHS have information online about protecting your – and your employees' – mental health.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced guidance documents to help businesses operate at this time.

View our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Health & Safety Risk Assessment template [docx] 26KB.


The government has announced a number of measures to help businesses cope with the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, including:

Current Business Support
Measure Description Mechanism Update (19.11.2020)

Local Restrictions Support Grant



Businesses that pay Business Rates and are required to close in England due to the 28-day national lockdown that started on 5th November can apply for the LRSG. Grants are set at the following levels:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 for the 28-day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £2,000 for the 28-day period
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, grants to be £3,000 for the 28-day period


Check if you're a business that is required to close on gov.uk

Read more and apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant

Applications for the LRSG are now open

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary)



The ARG (Discretionary) is a discretionary grant alongside the LRSG.

Businesses that do not pay Business Rates and were required to close for the 28-day national lockdown that started on 5th November may be eligible for the ARG. Additionally, businesses that were not required to close but have been severely affected by client businesses being required to close may also be eligible.

Businesses may receive grants of up to £3,000 for the 28-day period.

Check if you're a business that is required to close on gov.uk

Applications for the ARG (Discretionary) are now open.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides support to the self-employed and has been extended for two more grants, each available for three-month periods covering November 2020-January 2021 and February 2021-April 2021.

The next grant will be a taxable grant covering 80% of three months' average trading profits. This will be paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

The Government will review the level of the grant following this and set this in due course.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions

Find out who can claim, what this grant extension covers and how to apply on the government website.
Online applications for the next SEISS grant will open on 30 November
Job Retention Scheme

HMRC will provide grants to business to cover the wages of people on furlough or flexible furlough – 80% of salary to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Employers will pay National Insurance and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work

Complete online claim application Scheme extended until March 2021
Statutory Sick Pay SMEs can be refunded cost of sick pay for up to 14 days for an individual Applications will be with HMRC. Applications now open
Retail Business Rates Holiday 'Retail Discount' A 1-year business rates holiday for all businesses in the retail, leisure, hospitality sectors from 1 April 2020. To see who fits into these sectors please see government's detailed guidance Ashford Borough Council Business Rates team will automatically apply this to their systems. No need for businesses to apply New bills have been issued and discounts have been applied
Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Complete online application form Applications open until the end of January 2021
Grants for Social Enterprise

There are several regional and national schemes operating, for example by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Kent Community Foundation.

Find out more on our Coronavirus Funding page No update at this stage
Reduced VAT for tourism and hospitality sectors The VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors will remain at 5% until 31st March 2021, a 15% reduction. Read more on the gov.uk website Extended until March 2021
Time to Pay - Extra time for tax Individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities will be able to access support to agree a bespoke 'time to pay' arrangement. Apply to HMRC through their helpline on 0800 0159 559 No update at this stage
Bounce Back Loans The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to 10 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

Apply to an accredited lender. A list of lenders and more information is available at the British Business Bank website.

A new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan. This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.


Applications open until the end of January.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Support for businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value, available on repayment terms of up to ten years. Eligibility criteria apply Full information on the British Business Bank website. Applications made via participating lenders

Lenders may now offer loans repayable over ten years.


Applications open until the end of January

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

CLBILS supports large businesses, with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £800 million, to access loans of up to £200 million

Read more on the gov.uk website

Applications open until the end of January
Zoo Support Fund

An animal welfare grant of up to £100,000 for zoos or aquariums affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Complete online registration Applications for zoos and aquariums are open until 29 January 2021.
Bank Support Other private banks are making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 Contact your banking provider No update at this stage
Eviction freeze

Commercial tenants who miss a rent payment will be protected from eviction. This protection will last until the end of 2020.

This is an automatic protection for all businesses Extended until the end of 2020.
Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can also apply online for Universal Credit.

Alternatively, if you’re unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay and are self-isolating because of Coronavirus (or have other health conditions), you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance.


View more information on claiming Universal Credit


View more information on claiming ESA
No update at this stage.

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