Financial support for businesses affected by coronavirus

Support is available for businesses as a result of the restrictions.

There are 4 types of business support:

On this page:

Restart Grants

The government have announced a one-off Restart Grant from 1 April 2021 to "help businesses re-open"  in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym/sports sectors. The purpose of the Restart Grant is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.

You can read which businesses are eligible for a Restart Grant and our Restart Grant policy


Business Support Grants

Businesses in the New Forest that are the business ratepayer in occupation of the premises and which have been legally required to close due to national restrictions can apply for a grant for the period 16 February 2021 to March 2021. 

You can find out more information and details on how to apply below.

If you have any queries please contact us at


Discretionary Grants

Additional Restrictions (Discretionary) Grant (ARG) 

When schemes are open and accepting applications, you will find written guidance with the application form to help you to decide which, if any, scheme is appropriate, and if you can meet the requirements of the scheme.

Open for applications: Additional Restrictions (Discretionary) Grant Issue 4 (ARG4) for medium-sized businesses. 

The ARG4 scheme is open for applications from eligible businesses until 12 noon on Wednesday 2 June 2021. 

The Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) scheme is one of the Governments COVID support schemes administered by local authorities to support businesses not eligible for the rates based grant schemes outlined on this page.

Small and micro-sized businesses, including businesses based at home, have been able to apply to ARG 1, 2 and 3 grants from 25 November to 23 April 2021. These schemes are closed, and no further payments will be made.

ARG 4 is a new, one-off grant specifically for the New Forest's medium sized businesses only, i.e. those with between 50 and 250 employees, that operate within the retail, hospitality, events or leisure sector, or their supply chain, and have not been eligible for the business rates based Business Support Grants or Restart Grants.  Further guidance and definitions are available via the link to the form below.

There is limited ARG funding remaining from the Government allocation.  Therefore, the ARG4 grant award will reflect the remaining funding divided equally amongst the eligible, fully completed applications received as at the closing date, up to a maximum of £100,000 for any one business.  Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have been severely impacted by national restrictions since 5 November 2020.

Due to the volume of applications being processed please read the guidance in the application form before contacting the Economic Development Team.

All of the business support grants are shown on this page.  Businesses not eligible for ARG4 should continue to monitor this webpage and our business enews for further updates and information.

You can find out more information and details on how to apply below:

Closed to applications: The New Forest District Council Taxi Driver Grant  

The New Forest Taxi Driver Grant scheme closed to new applications on 7 May 2021 and no further payments will be made.

Businesses should continue to monitor this webpage and sign up to receive our business support email newsletter and follow us on our Twitter @NFDCBizUpdates for further updates on COVID support schemes for businesses.

The discretionary grants are administered by the economic development team. 

For specific enquiries please email

Visit the GOV.UK website for full details of coronavirus business support grant funding.


Business Rates holiday

Some businesses are eligible for a Business Rates holiday for one year from 1 April 2020. This has now been extended to 30 June 2021.  From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 eligible businesses will receive a 66% discount.

You may be eligible for the discount on your Business Rates bill in either of the following circumstances:

  • Your business occupies a property in the expanded retail sector
  • Your business occupies a property in the leisure or hospitality sectors

If you are not currently receiving a reduction, please fill in the Expanded Retail Discount form.

The full discount is available for registered childcare nurseries with providers on Fasted's Early Years Register, who mainly occupy premises for provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

If you're eligible for the discount and haven't received it yet, call us on 01590 646119 or email

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