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Cambridge City Council

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Additional Business Support Grant

Last updated: 26 July 2021

Phase 6 of the ABSG scheme has now closed

We ran a local Additional Business Support Grant (ABSG) from the second national lockdown in November 2020 through to Steps 2 and 3 of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ for easing Covid-19 restrictions. Applications for Phase 6 [PDF, 0.3MB] of this scheme closed on 1 June 2021.

The ABSG scheme has provided grants to hundreds of businesses in Cambridge that did not qualify for the national LRSG (Closed) and Restart Grant schemes.

This has included non-business rate-paying businesses, businesses in commercial premises still allowed to operate during lockdown but still severely impacted, businesses run from homes in the city, and market traders, street traders and taxi drivers licensed to operate in Cambridge.

This ABSG scheme has closed to most businesses. Further ABSG grant support is not available to businesses that have been allowed to resume trading in April and May.

Targeted support in ABSG Phase 7

Following the Government’s announcement of a four-week delay to moving to Step 4 of its ‘roadmap’ to easing Covid-19 restrictions, we have run a very targeted ABSG (Phase 7) scheme.

This has primarily supported a smaller number (around 50) of existing business grant recipients either still required to close or particularly badly affected by the delay to Step 4. This has been for:

  • nightclubs and theatres;
  • indoor leisure activities such as children’s soft play areas, climbing walls, indoor bowls and tenpin bowling;
  • travel agents and travel operators;
  • English language schools and cultural activities;
  • gift shops and traders specialising in souvenirs of Britain or Cambridge for overseas tourists;
  • bridal shops and photographers specialising in weddings;
  • events management and catering;
  • food wholesalers and breweries; and
  • market traders on Cambridge market displaced from their licensed pitches (to make space for hot food traders).

Grants of between £500 and £3,000 have been issued to these businesses for the four-week period from 21 June to 19 July 2021.

We are contacting directly a small number of other businesses who qualify for the scheme. For more details, see our ABSG (Phase 7) policy [PDF, 94Kb].

New rules on grant subsidy limits

New national rules on grant subsidy limits came into effect on 4 March 2021, which recipients of Covid-19 business grants schemes need to follow. These replace previous requirements to comply with EU State Aid rules.

Here is a broad summary of those requirements. Grant applicants need to consult their own financial advisers if they have any questions about whether they comply with the new rules.

  • Under the ‘Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance’, a single economic actor must not receive more than £335,000 in grants over any three-year fiscal period.
  • In cases where this threshold is reached, there is a further ‘Covid-19 Business Grant Allowance’ of a further £1,600,000 per single economic actor.
  • Beyond this threshold, there is a ‘Covid-19 Business Grant Special Allowance’ where applicants may be able to access a further allowance of funding up to a further £9,000,000 per single economic actor, subject to conditions.