My name is Simon Sherriff, and I am a freelance associate lighting designer and production electrician, operating as a sole trader. After being unsuccessful in qualifying for most of the self employed government support, I recently applied for an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) via my local council. I heard a few days ago I was successful. There seems to be a slight variance in the way individual councils determine eligibility and awards, based on reports from other freelance colleagues. You can also apply if you have received the SEISS payments, although I’m not sure if this is countrywide. This grant seems geared towards hospitality, venues and commercial businesses (who lost income during the last national lockdown in November), but sole traders who use their home address are also eligible. I had to send a business bank statement and screenshots from my website to prove my business was still active. It took 4 days from application to be awarded. It was £750 – the flat rate as a sole trader. If you have commercial business property, you can be awarded more, based on commercial rent or the business rate value.

Here is the link for further details. Again, this information is specific to my local area. Individuals would need to clarify criteria and eligibility based on the registered business address. For instance, we understand that in Lewisham it is only based on whether you have a rateable business premises in the borough.

With thanks to Tom Johnsons and Patrick Malony for forwarding information regarding this grant.