New Forest East

BEIS – FOOD AND DRINK WHOLESALERS [164332] - 08 March 2021

BEIS – FOOD AND DRINK WHOLESALERS [164332] - 08 March 2021

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the consistency with which different local authorities award Additional Restrictions Grants to similar companies; and if he will make it his policy to issue guidance to local authorities to give comparable levels of such support to food and drink wholesalers facing comparable financial pressures during the covid-19 outbreak.  [164332]

[Due for Answer on 11 March.]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets (Paul Scully): The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) allows Local Authorities to put in place discretionary business support. Local Authorities are free to provide support that suits their local area, including to support those businesses not required to close but which have had their trade severely affected by the restrictions, and those businesses that fall outside the business rates system such as market traders. At the Budget on 3rd March, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an additional £425 million will be made available via the ARG, meaning that more than £2 billion has been made available to Local Authorities since November 2020. The further top-up of 3rd March is conditional on Local Authorities spending their existing allocations. Officials continue to engage with Local Authorities to ensure compliance to both the scheme rules and wider reporting requirements.