TIME is running out for businesses in York to secure financial support to help them survive the crippling impact of the coronavirus restrictions.

The deadline for eligible businesses to apply for Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) funding is March 31 2021.

Hailed a 'financial lifeline', the funding has supported about 1,300 York businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions but not been forced to close.

Simon Parry, a Shambles Market trader, said: "It has been a tough year for retail and especially for small businesses like mine and other market traders, who didn't seem to tick any of the right boxes e.g. permanent premises, trading in direct area where you live.

"The past 12 months have been financially crippling. It has created genuine hardship for so many self-employed people.

“So it was amazing when the Market team and City of York Council listened to the problems we faced and supported the market traders, helping us to apply and receive the ARG grant.

"My application was accepted and I have been given financial help by the council.

"This will now be put into investment for my future business plans, mainly having enough funds to pay for York Christmas Market 2021 - fingers crossed.

"Most importantly it has given me a financial life line to continue my business until better times ahead. "

For details visit: www.york.gov.uk/COVID19BusinessGrants

As government support changes by level of restriction, different businesses qualify for ARG under November’s lockdown, when York was under Tier 3 restrictions, and now the third national lockdown.

As businesses are able to reopen, ARG will be withdrawn on a sector by sector basis.

The scheme is available to businesses with permanent fixed premises in York, where trade is impacted by more than 75 per cent due to lockdown, and who may or may not be liable for business rates in York.

Market stalls or pitches are not considered a fixed premises.

Also eligible are businesses whose trade is usually conducted in York for 75 per cent or more of the time, and where trade is severely impacted by the lockdown restrictions.

Businesses will receive different amounts depending on their circumstances.

For partnerships, each partner would need to make a separate application for the business to receive more than one grant.

Businesses which have missed out on government schemes are urged to contact economicgrowth@york.gov.uk

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said: “The allocation from government is relatively small compared to the number of businesses that could need support, but it does look like our approach will mean that those who need it most will be supported.

"Our most recent grant payments to businesses mean we have now processed around £150m of financial support to York businesses in the last year.

“With the deadline of March 31 approaching, we're urging all businesses to check if they are eligible for Additional Restriction Grants and if so, to apply as soon as possible. ”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said: “Financial support like the ARG helps businesses to retain staff, protect supply chains and supports York's wider economy - which is vital as the city prepares to reopen gradually over the coming months.

“We know businesses want to plan ahead and we continue to press government for more details on when we’ll be able to pay Restart Grants, and will keep businesses informed as soon as we know more.

“We will continue to work with partners to find the fairest, most effective way within Government guidelines to spend any additional discretionary funding which comes to York."

If eligible, the payment businesses receive depends on certain circumstances:

• up to £1,334, per 28 days in Tier 3 or 4, for businesses with fixed commercial premises costs (rent payable to a landlord)

• £500 per 28 day qualifying restriction period, for businesses without fixed premises costs*

• £2,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period, for businesses with a rateable value of more than £15,000, but less than £51,000

• £3,000 per 28 day qualifying restriction period, for businesses with a rateable value greater than £51,000

* Examples include a mobile hairdressers (falling under leisure and beauty mandated to close), taxi drivers (leisure sector mandated to close) or commercial electricians (non-essential retail mandated to close), and market traders.