The government has deferred responsibility to local authorities after a TTG poll found a wide discrepancy in agents receiving the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
A Local Restrictions Support Grant, worth up to £3,000 per month, is available for businesses forced to close due to lockdown restrictions. Initially, travel agencies were counted on the list of businesses required to close, but were later removed.
Abta has been encouraging members to continue applying for the grant regardless, and TTG has heard from many agents who have been successful. Others have been declined however.
A TTG poll asking "Have you been approved for LRSG funding (up to £3,000 a month)?" received mixed responses.
28% of respondents said they were an agent and had been granted a LRSG. However 20% said they were an agent but had been declined. 11% meanwhile said they were an operator and had been declined the funding.
TTG asked the government about the disparity in businesses being given the funding.
“We know that this is a really tough time for businesses across the country, which is why we are continuing to deliver a wide-ranging package of urgent support," said a spokesperson.
“Local authorities are responsible for the allocation of grants and other support according to business circumstances in their area, and we are working with them to get support to as many businesses as possible.”
Abta said even though the national lockdown has ended it might be possible to apply for a retrospective LRSG, dependent on the individual local authority’s administration of the grant schemes.
BEIS guidance states: “We encourage Local Authorities to pay out grants as quickly as possible. The LRSG funding allocations must be spent during financial year 2020/2021.”
Post-lockdown there are discretionary schemes available under the Local Restrictions Support Grant umbrella, including Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) (for businesses that are still open but severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ restrictions).
Guidance for local authorities on this applies to England only and is retrospective, applying from 1 August 2020.
There is also the Additional Restrictions Grant where Local Authorities determine eligibility criteria.