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COVID-19 Financial support for businesses

Business Grant Funds

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

On 21 December 2021 the Government announced a new grant scheme to provide support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks.

The primary principle of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme 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 hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is a one-off grant. Please ensure you read all the information below and the following government guidance Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant: guidance for Local Authorities fully before applying for this grant.

Eligible Businesses

Eligible businesses are defined as follows:

  • Hospitality definition: a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. This excludes food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions,in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes)
  • Leisure definition: a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming. This excludes all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators, and gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis. Gyms and sports businesses include dance and fitness studios; sports centres and clubs; sports courts; swimming pools and golf courses. This list is not exhaustive.
  • Accommodation definition: a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes. This excludes private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres

Your business will only be eligible where its main service falls within hospitality, leisure or accommodation. If your business operates services that could be considered hospitality or leisure, and also fall into another category, the main service can be determined by assessing which category constitutes 50% or more of your overall income. You will need to supply evidence from your accountant that your business meets the 50% or more overall income criteria with your application.

Below sets out the types of businesses that can apply: 

Hospitality

  • Food courts
  • Public houses/pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Roadside restaurants
  • Wine bars
  • Cafes

Leisure

  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Stately homes & historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Zoos & safari parks
  • Amusement parks
  • Wedding venues
  • Events venues
  • Night clubs & discotheques
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls
  • Tourist attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades
  • Soft play centres or areas
  • Clubs & institutions
  • Village halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

Accommodation

  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodge
  • Holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Boarding houses
  • Canal boats or other vessels
  • B&Bs
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes

Eligibility Criteria

To receive funding under this scheme you must be the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 30 December 2021 and your business must have been trading on this date.

A business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover..

Some trading indicators are included below that can help assess what can be defined as trading for the purposes of the grant schemes. Indicators that a business is trading are:

  • The business continues to trade, including online, via delivery services

etc.

  • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice or under notice
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures

General Exclusions

You cannot get funding if your business:

  • has reached/exceeded the permitted subsidy allowance (see below) 
  • Is in liquidation, administration, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice
  • Is not within the rating system 
  • Is not trading (see above) 

Grant funding

The funding is based upon the rateable value of the property the business occupies as at 30 December 2021. The following thresholds apply: 

  • For businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under the grant payment will be £2,667. 
  • For businesses occupying properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 the grant payment will be £4,000. 
  • For businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over the grant payment will be £6,000

Subsidy allowance

This scheme is covered by 3 possible subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) in Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over any rolling period of 3 financial years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – under this allowance you’re allowed up to £1,900,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £10,000,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £12,235,000 (subject to exchange rates).

You will need to confirm which allowance threshold you are using for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant as part of the application process

Application Process

Before applying please make sure you have the following information/documents to hand as you will not be able to complete your application without it:

  • Business Rate Payer name (as shown on your rates bill)
  • Business Trading Address including postcode (address grant being applied for) 
  • Business Ratepayer email address 
  • Sector
  • Nature of Business 
  • Unique identifier (preferably Company Reference Number (CRN)) if applicable. If not applicable, VAT Registration Number, SelfAssessment/Partnership Number, National Insurance Number, Unique Taxpayer Reference, Registered Charity Number will also be acceptable) 
  • High level SIC Code 
  • Date business established 
  • Number of employees at the premises the grant is being applied for
  • Business rate account number
  • For all applications your most recent bank statement and in relevant cases supporting evidence re the main service element requirement or COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance conditions

If you meet the eligibility criteria and have the information needed to complete your application, please complete the online form

  • The application closure date for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding is Friday 18 March 2022. 
  • However, to make a decision regarding your application and ensure eligible awards are processed by 31 March 2022 we will need your completed application together with your most recently dated bank statement before midnight on Friday 11 March 2022.
  • In addition, where supporting documentation/evidence is required to satisfy the main service element requirement or COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance conditions, this must also be supplied before midnight on Friday 11 March 2022.
  • If you fail to supply your bank statement and any required supporting documentation/evidence by Friday 11 March 2022 we will not be able to progress your application.

Please note before awarding a grant payment we are required to undertake prepayment checks so please bear with us whilst we process these applications over the coming weeks.

Please be advised that you may be contacted for research purposes and your data will be shared with the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for research and evaluation purposes. The BEIS privacy notice, setting out how BEIS will handle personal data across all COVID-19 business grant schemes, can be found in the gov.uk website. 

The London Borough of Sutton’s Council Tax and Business Rates privacy notice can be found online.