ExcludedUK CIC, Allia Future Business Centre, London Road, Peterborough PE2 8AN
Registered Company Number: 12635856
Letter to all Local Authorities regarding the latest Additional Restrictions Grants
Dear [Local Authority Chief Executive]
[Council Leader] [Head of Finance] 7th January 2022
ExcludedUK is a non-profit volunteer run organisation and represents over 3 million UK taxpayers who have been entirely or largely excluded from government Covid-19 financial support. Following the Chancellor’s announcements of the support packages at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, it soon became apparent that large swathes of the working population would not be adequately supported, resulting in significant disparities in the support provided. This has led to far-reaching impacts that ExcludedUK has been witness to for what is now heading towards two years. As we have highlighted throughout our campaigning, for what is now approaching two years, those affected come from wide-ranging backgrounds, across all employment statuses, and diverse industries and professions across the country.
We are writing to urge you to include previously excluded sectors when formulating eligibility criteria for the latest round of Additional Restrictions Grants, as announced by the Chancellor on 21st December 2021 due to the rapid spread of Omicron.
ExcludedUK has been calling on the Government to provide the help that is so vitally needed in the face of increasing uncertainty about the weeks and months ahead. This is even more pressing for those who have not been supported during the pandemic through no fault of their own. We have been inundated with testimonies from individuals and businesses who have been excluded from support during the pandemic. Sadly, due to frequent changes in Covid restrictions and many freelancers and businesses continuing to be excluded from local authority eligibility criteria for grants, those affected are finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to get back on their feet. Affected sectors include – events, retail, creative industries, hospitality, beauty, travel, venue hire, with the knock-on effects of cancelled classes, empty shops, market stalls, dog walkers, kennels and catteries, sports and alternative therapists among many others all unable to trade.
On 31 March 2021, Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets Minister for London, and Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport, Heritage and Tourism wrote to all local authorities and asked that you consider including the excluded sectors, as quoted below:
“Local Authorities may want to support businesses that fall outside the business rates system with this additional cash. This could include travel and tour operators, including B&Bs and event industry providers, wholesalers, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses like caterers, wedding photographers, hairdressers and make-up artists and market traders, and wraparound care providers.
“This will keep cash flowing to these businesses in the short term and support our long-term recovery from the pandemic as we reopen and kick start the economy again. Businesses are counting on you to deliver this urgent support and be as flexible as possible to see them through what will hopefully be the final few months of restrictions.”
We would urge you to include all such individuals and businesses in this next round of ARG, since not including these groups will have a knock-on effect for other public funded departments, especially emergency housing if people lose their homes, mental health services, not to mention the knock-on impact to these businesses’ supply chains, as well as continued hardship and struggles for those affected to recover from the financial damage resulting from being left without adequate support during the pandemic. Two examples are given below but this list of sectors affected due to cancellations since the onset of Omicron is not exhaustive:
Cancelled live entertainment events have a knock-on effect on:
- Entertainers and their agents/management companies
- Lighting and rigging crews
- Audio-visual crew
- Mobile catering companies
- Advertising companies
- Local transport and taxi drivers
Cancelled weddings have a knock-on effect on:
- Stationery companies
- Mobile hairdressers
- Beauticians & make-up artists
- Self-employed wedding singers/musicians/DJs
- Local transport and taxi drivers
- Hotels and B&B accommodation
Our research as well as the many testimonies submitted to us regarding previous rounds of ARG clearly illustrated an unbalanced picture across the country, due to inconsistent criteria, resulting in a postcode lottery and leaving so many in need out in the cold. To ignore these sectors would be a false economy. Moreover, these businesses and professionals are the lifeblood of our communities. We urge you to ensure your local businesses and self-employed taxpayers, such as but not limited to the examples above, are supported appropriately through the next round of ARG.
Director of Member Welfare