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Business support

Published on 20 March 2020

Business support


Following confirmation from Government that businesses that received payments under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will get automatic payments if they qualify for Restart Grants, letters were sent to qualifying businesses.

1,168 businesses in Carlisle will receive payments and accounts are due to credited on Friday 7 May 2021.

In total £8,556,080 will be paid to Carlisle businesses.


We have been allocated £907,736 through the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme, which is being used to launch the Local Recovery Grant for Carlisle businesses. These discretionary grants apply from April 2021 onwards.

This will be first made available to previous Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) recipients.

The Local Recovery Grant has an updated eligibility criteria so this may mean that businesses that qualified under the previous ARG scheme may not qualify under the new grants scheme.

We will be getting in contact with all previous ARG recipients week commencing 10 May with details on how to apply. If you have not heard from us by Friday 14 May, please get in contact with us at [email protected]

Grant payments will be made when the funding allocation has been received from the government. More information about the Local Recovery Grant scheme is shown below.

We are working closely with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, Cumbria Tourism and Carlisle Ambassadors to support local businesses.

Coronavirus Business Grants

We are doing everything to simplify the process for local business owners, including where possible automated payments based on any previous applications. 


Restart Grants

We’ve had confirmation from Government that businesses that received payments under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) will get automatic payments if they qualify for the Restart Grants scheme.

We have sent out letters to qualifying businesses advising them that the grant will be paid and giving everyone the opportunity to refuse, if no longer eligible. We will then make the payments within seven working days.

A list of eligible businesses is listed in this downloadable document.


Additional Restrictions Grant: Local Recovery Grant from April 2021

The government has announced further funding for ARG. These grants are not retrospective and apply from April 2021 onwards. 

We have been allocated £907,736 through this top up fund for Carlisle businesses. This is being used to launch the Local Recovery Grant (ARG) which will replace the existing ARG scheme.

This will be first made available to previous grant recipients. This is a discretionary grant to support businesses with reopening over the next few months as restrictions ease further.

The Local Recovery Grant will have an updated eligibility criteria, taking into to account the changes in restrictions since the national restrictions were first imposed, and the smaller level of funding available, this may mean that businesses that qualified under the previous scheme may not qualify under the Local Recovery Grant scheme.

In order to qualify for the Local Recovery Grant, businesses will need to satisfy the following criteria: 
•    Businesses must provide outline and provide clear evidence of property costs this could include rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, vehicle lease and running costs for mobile businesses. 

Home based businesses will not qualify, unless they can evidence clear substantial outgoings that are wholly separate to their home bills, this could include: 

•    Vehicle costs for business vehicles. 

•    A separate business unit on a residential dwelling. 

•    Significant equipment costs essential to the running of a business. 

These costs must total at least £200 per month.

•    Businesses must confirm that they are still trading, i.e. are not in administration, insolvent, or where a striking off notice has been made. 

•    Businesses must outline how they continue to be impacted by the restrictions, given that restriction easing may have allowed certain sectors to return to a more consistent trading pattern. 

We will be getting in contact with all previous ARG recipients week commencing 10 May with details on how to apply via email. If you have not heard from us by Friday 14 May, please get in contact with us at [email protected]

Grant payments will be made when the funding allocation has been received from the government.


Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed businesses) application

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed Premises) is for businesses that are required to close under restrictions imposed. 

Following the Government’s roadmap announcement on Monday 22 February 2021, businesses that currently receive payments under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) do not need to reapply. We will make automatic payments after the funding from Government has been received.

Eligible businesses are those that have been required to close by Government and include non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, personal care, community centres and halls. If your substantive business has closed, however you are operating a click and collect service, please complete the application form below.

An online application form is available here.

Support for LRSG (Closed) has ended, but any new applications submitted before 31 May 2021 will only be considered for the period between 16.02.21 - 31.03.21.

Please note: If you have already received a grant for the November 2020 national restrictions, you do not need to submit another application.

To qualify for this grant, your business must be based in Carlisle and has been:

  • Open as usual before the restrictions.
  • Providing services in person to customers from the premises.
  • Required to close due to restrictions imposed by government.
  • Paying business rates for the premises before restrictions commenced.

The LRSG(C) is a mandatory grant for businesses that have a rateable value. Please note the scheme is not based on eligibility for rate reliefs.

Businesses in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Awards made under this support are required to comply with the law relating on State Aid. In this instance an award if you have received any other de minimis State Aid, including any other grant funding for premises other than the one to which this letter relates, must not exceed the increased threshold of €3 million an undertaking can receive under EU Regulations which currently remain applicable. 


Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

The grant was for business which were severely impacted by the Tier 2 Restrictions but not required to close. This scheme focused on supporting hospitality, accommodation and leisure/events businesses in line with Government guidance.

This grant scheme is now closed, and we are not able to take any new applications.


Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

The Christmas Support payment was a single one-off payment of £1,000.00 for wet-led pubs. The deadline for applications was Sunday 28 February 2021.


One off top-up grants for closed retail, leisure and hospitality sectors

The one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have now ended.


EU Transition

A deal with the EU has been reached and businesses should take action to ensure that their business operations can run smoothly as new rules apply. Businesses should prioritise taking any actions as soon as possible in the new year. 

The links below provide more information to support business:

  • Use the Brexit checker tool for a personalised list of actions.
  • Sign up here for business readiness bulletins to receive important updates for your business.
  • If you move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland, check the latest Northern Ireland Protocol guidance here.
  • For guidance on Rules of Origin see here
  • For details of the new arrangements for hiring workers from the EU see here.
  • For travelling to Europe check here and for passports here.
  • For Data Protection and Data Flows check here.
  • UK Government information
  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce's Brexit Toolkit
  • Cumbria LEP

Government guidance 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses:

For guidance and support visit this website.

Stay up to date with GOV.UK

Sign up to get emails when we add new coronavirus business support information


Funding support

For funding opportunities visit 

We are providing local businesses with free access to its local business support and grant portal provided by Open4Business. This is tailored for the Carlisle area and includes local, regional and national schemes. Business can also search for funding relevant to their size and sector. To use the portal, you will first need to register with Open4Business. Visit the portal here.

The government’s ‘support finder’ tool helps businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. The link is here.


NHS Test and Trace

Venues such as pubs, restaurants, hair salons and cinemas are now required by law to record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff in the latest move to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The NHS COVID-19 app launched on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues.

Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace.

Businesses are now required to display official NHS QR code posters so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

Businesses can download the QR codes here - to display as posters in premises.

Using the COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England are now able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

Services included in the new legal requirements are:

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés.

  • Tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks.

  • Close contact services, including hairdressers *facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres.

For further details on the announcement please click here and for guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace click here.

The government has also prepared a bank of resources. Click here to view these.

The full list of business settings is listed here.


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