Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Coronavirus remains a serious health risk. It’s important to stay cautious and help protect yourself and others. Please continue to follow national government advice.

ARG Discretionary restart fund

Businesses which did not qualify for the Restart Grant could be eligible for financial support through the ARG Discretionary Restart Fund.


This discretionary element will complement the Restart Grant and offer a one off grant of £5,000 to businesses which did not qualify for the Restart Grant scheme. Decisions are subject to meeting all the eligibility criteria, and applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and subject to availability of funds.

Eligibility:

  • Businesses that have not received a Restart Grant
  • Businesses which have been trading since the 1 April 2021.
  • Are not the named rate payer for their operating premises
  • Operating in one of the following business sectors:
    • non-essential retail
    • hospitality
    • accommodation
    • leisure
    • gym and sports
    • personal care

and have not received a Restart grant. 

  • Business operations must have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions
  • Business must be making an application for a main trading address within the Birmingham City Council Area

Ineligibility:

Businesses that will not be eligible for consideration are listed below:

  • Businesses in areas outside the scope of the listed business sectors
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that are equal to the maximum levels of State Aid permitted under the subsidy allowances.
  • Businesses that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made
  • When the landlord is the ratepayer of the business premises which qualifies for Restart Grant RV based schemes and the business owner are the same.
  • Businesses that have applied for the ARG Business Recovery Scheme. 
  • Business that remained open and were not impacted by COVID-19 restrictions (e.g. online businesses which continued to trade during lockdown are not deemed to have been impacted and are therefore ineligible)
  • If you are the named Rate Payer

Please note that you can claim one grant per business and you should complete a separate form for each business. 

You cannot receive more than one grant per business, even if you have multiple premises.

Non Essential Retail Government Definition:

For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business can be defined as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Local authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public
  • Businesses that were likely to have been required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown
  • Businesses that had retail services restricted during January lockdown
  • Businesses that sell directly to consumers

Non Essential Retail Business Excluded

The following business are not eligible for this scheme:

Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops,

  • off licences, breweries
  • pharmacies, chemists
  • newsagents
  • animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
  • building merchants
  • petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • education providers including tutoring services
  • banks, building societies and other financial providers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical practices, veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • agricultural supply shops, garden centres
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • wholesalers
  • employment agencies and businesses
  • office buildings
  • automatic car washes
  • mobility support shops

The above is not an exhaustive list.

Hospitality Government Definition:

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

Local authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public
  • Businesses that provide food and or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors. For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality retail business should exclude: food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes)

A Leisure business will be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.

The following criteria will be used to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities
  • Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends

An accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

The following criteria will be used to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes

A Gym and Sport business can be defined as a commercial or non profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.

The following criteria will be used to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that offer in-person exercise and sport activities to the general public
  • Businesses that open to members of the public paying an entry or membership fee
  • Businesses that require extensive cleaning protocols, which significantly slow down trade
  • Businesses that offer exercise classes or activities, which may mandate space and no masks etc.

A Personal Care business can be defined as a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing.

The following criteria will be used to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses that deliver in-person holistic, beauty and hair treatments
  • Businesses that provide services such as tattoos and piercings
  • Businesses that offer close-contact services, which are required to deliver the treatment
  • Businesses that offer services, treatments or activities that require social distancing and cleaning protocols, which have led to a reduction in their capacity to deliver personal care services

Accommodation exclusions

Private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts.

Leisure exclusions

A leisure business should exclude: all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes

Gym and sports exclusions

Home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

Personal care exclusions

  • Businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services
  • Businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others
  • Businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health.

Please note the exclusions listed above is not an exhaustive list.

How to apply

Before you start to complete this form, please ensure you have read the details of the grant scheme and gather together the following pieces of information, where they are applicable, about your business:

  • Reference numbers of previous Birmingham City Council Covid-19 business grant applications
  • Business rates account reference numbers
  • Rateable value of your business premises
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Companies House or Charity registration number
  • Bank details
  • State Aid receipt information has been replaced with Subsidy allowance, read more information about subsidy allowance on the GOV.UK website
  • Any other evidence to show the impact of increased restrictions on your business
  • A copy of your latest Bank Statement (last 3 months). This must show, the name of the business owner, the account number, sort code, address and recent trading activity.
  • Self Employed (any one of below):
    • A letter from your business accountant
    • UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference)
    • HMRC Registration (SA302)
    • DBA (Doing Business As) filing, establishing the business name
    • If self employed, proof of tax free childcare

Not all of the above will be applicable to all businesses and applications.

You will need to register for a BRUM account to apply for a grant, create an online BRUM account if you don't already have one.

If you do already have a BRUM account, you don’t need to register again or change it to your business address. You can still apply for a grant and as you go through the form it will capture your business address.

You can use either your personal email address or your business address.

The name of your business may not appear in the look up and so please use your postal address to search when creating a BRUM account.

When registering for a BRUM account, you will be sent an email to validate your email address and so remember to check your spam or junk folders.

Please note:

We anticipate an extremely high volume of applications and will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible.

However, it will take up to 28 days from the date the application was submitted before we can respond to you.  This time frame assumes that all information has been completed correctly and full evidence provided.

We are unable to provide advice on grant eligibility so please refer to the information, however if you need an update after the time period above has elapsed please email dbg@birmingham.gov.uk.

Where all the evidence has not been provided or additional information is required, this may take longer.

Apply for a ARG Discretionary restart fund

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