Coronavirus (COVID-19):

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ARG Business recovery scheme

This scheme is designed to provide Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs*) with grant funding of between £5,000 to £50,000 towards projects which will drive business recovery and safeguard existing jobs.

Decisions are subject to meeting all the criteria and financial capability to cash flow the project, as grants are paid retrospectively.  Applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and will be subject to availability of funds.


  • Established SMEs businesses within any sector that have been actively trading (3 months actual sales and income) for a minimum of the last 3 months
  • seeking to implement a recovery plan by 28 February 2022
  • Main business main trading address must be  within the Birmingham City Council area
  • Projects must be safeguarding current jobs and possibly to creating new jobs
  • Funding is approved on evidence of viability, financial need and is discretionary

*Definitions of SME businesses:

To qualify as a micro business, under the Companies Act 2006, you must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:
Turnover: Not more than £632,000
Balance sheet total: Not more than £316,000
Number of employees: a headcount of staff of not more than 10

To qualify as a small business, under the Companies Act 2006, you must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:
Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million
Balance sheet total: Not more than 5.1 million
Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50

To qualify as a medium business, under the Companies Act 2006, you must satisfy two or more of the following requirements in a year:
Turnover: Not more than £36 million
Balance sheet total: Not more than £18 million
Number of employees: Not more than 250

Eligible costs can include:

  • Implementation of COVID-19 related measures
  • New plant and equipment
  • Improvements to systems,production processes or production layout
  • Internal refurbishment
  • IT and Digital
  • Diversifying and developing new markets
  • New product development.
  • Other costs which may be considered on a case by case basis.

Ineligible Costs:

Travel Expenses or Subsistence

  • Accommodation
  • Car parking
  • Company vehicles
  • Courier services
  • Flights
  • Food and drink
  • Mileage
  • Petrol, diesel or other fuel
  • Refreshments
  • Travel abroad

General Business Expenses

  • Ink or toner cartridges or printer ink
  • Internal employee wages/time
  • Monthly bills/annual charges (i.e. telephone, internet, utilities, servicing of equipment, etc..)
  • Newspapers/journals
  • Service or maintenance charges on office equipment
  • Stock items
  • Subscriptions to magazines, etc.

Property Expenses

  • Conversion of a building into offices for rental purposes
  • External costs (ie landscape gardening, driveways, exterior furniture)
  • Planning permission/building regulation fees
  • Rent & rates for current or new premises
  • Rent deposit on new premises
  • Service charges

Professional Fees

  • Accountancy fees
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Consultancy fees relating to completing the application
  • Recruitment
  • Writing of a generic business plan, generic marketing strategy, etc.,

The lists of eligible and ineligible costs are not exhaustive and some costs included in the application may be determined as ineligible at the time of appraisal.


  • 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
  • Businesses that have applied for, or have already been supported by the ARG Discretionary Restart Fund
  • The Project match cannot be funded via any other public funded grant programme

Grant Award

  • The scheme will offer grant funding of between £5,000 to £50, 000, capped to a maximum of 75% of the overall eligible project costs.
  • The grant payment will be made be retrospectively; stage payments can be arranged if required.
  • Please note, any eligible expenditure made before an application has been approved may be deemed ineligible for payment. Similarly, any payments made in cash prior to project approval, will be ineligible for grant payment.

Grant Payments (Guidance for approved applications)

  • Approved businesses will have to financially complete their projects by 28th February 2022 including spend, defrayal and claiming the grant. Priority will be given to investment ready projects that can be completed before this time
  • All expenditure undertaken as part of the grant project must be paid for by cheque or bank transfer so that a clear evidence trail can be demonstrated.  Any payments made in cash will not be eligible for consideration
  • Birmingham City Council may only reimburse against invoices for eligible expenditure dated after the date when the Funding Agreement was accepted
  • Grant payments are issued as a reimbursement of eligible expenditure (e.g. paid in arrears) incurred by the business and will be paid on production of relevant evidence, i.e. copies of invoices for approved eligible costs and bank statements to evidence the payments
  • All documents listed above submitted as part of a grant claim should clearly state ‘Certified as a true copy of the original’ and be signed and dated.  Any documents submitted without this will be returned and reimbursement will be delayed
  • Grants can be claimed either at the completion of your project or by instalments of at least £5,000, this can be negotiated if the need arises
  • Grant claims should not include VAT
  • Grant payments will be reimbursed for up to 75% for eligible expenditure submitted until the approved grant amount has been reached
  • Grant payments will be made directly to your business’s bank account using details supplied in the application.  Grant payments will not be made to third parties

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 received
  • 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
  • Any other evidence to show the impact of the proposed project 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.
  • Three indicative quotes for the proposed project costs are required, two comparative and one preferred for all different expenditure over £1000 each proposed as part of the project.  Please note: For all expenditure, the suppliers of the quotes must not be persons or businesses connected to your business, directors or shareholders.
  • Evidence of how you will fund this project, note all grant on approved projects will only be paid retrospectively after eligible spending has been completed (e.g. bank statement or accounts, internal company resources, Directors loans, Bank loans and overdraft, other funding including equity and non bank finance etc.)
  • Evidence of Current Staffing Levels (any one of below):
    • HR printout,
    • Payroll or
    • Signed letter head detailing all employees.
  • if an applicant is less than 12 months old we will require evidence of income (a combination of the below):
    • up to date management accounts or financial statements,
    • evidence of registration and
    • evidence of sales
  • 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. However any applicant may be required to provide additional evidence to that listed above.

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

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

Apply for ARG Business recovery scheme

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