22 Oct 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the Liverpool City Region economy and as a direct response the government has provided Liverpool City Region Combined Authority with further Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding.
Each local authority of Liverpool City Region will receive a small amount of funding (compared to previous rounds of ARG funding) and must therefore focus this funding to assist businesses severely impacted by the pandemic.
The ‘Trading On Scheme’ has been designed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and its constituent local authorities and will be delivered in St Helens by St Helens Borough Council. The budget provided under this scheme to St Helens is £940,172.35. Businesses that are eligible for this scheme are actively encouraged to apply. It is intended that the entire budget will be disbursed to businesses after this single window, after which there will be no further ARG funding.
The grant application portal will open for receipt of applications at 10.00am on Monday 25 October 2021 and will close at 5.00pm on Friday 12 November 2021. The appraisal process will begin after the window has closed and after applications have been assessed. Please note that grants will not be disbursed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
This provides businesses with three weeks to collate and submit the necessary evidence to support their application. Each applicant must demonstrate that their business or charity has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and must provide evidence to support this. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence will result in a refused application with no right of appeal.
Below are some key features of the Trading On Scheme. However, interested business must read the full guidance notes at the bottom of this page thoroughly to assess their eligibility.
All businesses/charities must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be able to accept the grant under Subsidy Control/State Aid rules.
- Be viable and trading on or before 1 April 2021.
- Employ globally between 10 and 249 full-time equivalent (FTE) members of staff, working at least 35 hours per week and paid via payroll (sub-contracted staff are not counted towards the headcount).
- Be based and have commercial property-related costs in Liverpool City Region and be able to evidence 2021 annual rental costs and annual business rates (where applicable).
- Must demonstrate the business has been severely impacted as a result Covid-19. Note: the business will be asked for proof of severe impact from Covid-19 (e.g. loss of turnover, income). A suitably qualified accountant must also verify this loss by using the accountant’s letter template below.
Excluded from the scheme are businesses or charities that:
- have received grant payments that, along with any grant funding that may be awarded under this scheme, exceed the maximum permitted levels of Subsidy Control.
- employ fewer than 10 full time equivalent staff.
- cannot evidence loss via an accountant’s letter.
- are based in residential property.
- are mobile businesses without commercial property-related costs.
- are advertising and billboard properties.
- are organisations that are predominantly funded by the public sector (e.g. schools and other education providers, care homes, health care settings).
- are places of worship (except organisations trading within these settings).
- are dissolved or about to be dissolved.
- are insolvent or that have had insolvency action instigated against them, including any petition or subject to a striking off notice. (The records of each business and of each individual applying for a grant will be checked as part of the grant appraisal process.)
- are dormant, i.e. not trading but not insolvent.
- have received a fixed penalty notice for transgression of Covid-19 restrictions.
The final amount of grant awarded to each business under the Trading On Scheme will be determined by several factors, including:
- the number of a business’s full-time equivalent staff working in Liverpool City Region.
- the loss of income caused by Covid-19.
- the total value of a business’s fixed annual commercial property costs in Liverpool City Region.
- the total number of eligible applications received.
Where a business has multiple premises across Liverpool City Region, the business should apply to the local authority where the highest number of employees work. Only ONE application for the Trading On Scheme must be made by a business within Liverpool City Region.
The grant value that an eligible business receives will depend on the number of eligible applications the local authority receives and the relative scores of those applications. However, it is expected that the minimum grant level will be around £5,000 and the maximum will be no more than £50,000.
A small number of successful applicants will mean that the grant values will generally be higher. Conversely, a large number of successful applicants means that grant values will be generally lower. Until all applications have been appraised it is impossible to confirm what businesses will receive. All businesses that meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.
Applications may, at the discretion of a local authority, be subject to a third-party credit check.
Successful applicants will be notified by email and payment will be made by BACS. All ARG funds must be disbursed to successful applicants by 31 March 2022.
When the window for applications opens on 25 October, applicants will be asked to provide information and documents to support their grant application. It is essential that applicants have the necessary information to hand before beginning the online application. Please consult the checklist below and make sure you have all evidence to hand before applying.
You must complete the online application form in one session, as it cannot be saved. Incomplete applications will not be appraised.
Do not use the Safari web browser as it is incompatible with the online application portal.
For general enquiries about the Trading On Scheme, please email TradingOn@sthelens.gov.uk