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Local businesses get extra support thanks to the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

More than 400 local businesses could qualify for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant set up by the government to support businesses during the tricky trading period as the country battles against the rise in Omicron virus cases.

The scheme provides support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses and is being allocated by local authorities. Newark and Sherwood District Council is one of the first local authorities to contact businesses in the country and already more than 260 applications have been received so far.

The District Council is on the front foot in contacting businesses and provided information to those in the sector as soon as the guidelines were published and before the grants are expected from the government.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “For a second year in a row, our high street was hit hard by the rise in COVID cases causing shoppers to stay at home.

“Our local businesses offer so much to the town and we’re doing all we can to support them during their time of need. We’re pleased the government have introduced this grant and our teams are working hard to contact those who can take advantage of it.

“If you’re a business owner in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector please get in touch with us or fill out an application form.”

The scheme will close for applications on 28 February 2022 and all final payments will be made to recipients by 31 March 2022.

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses and will take the form of a one-off grant funding scheme. The funding is to be made available in Financial Year 2021-2022 and can be used in Financial Year 21/22 only.

The following thresholds apply for businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

The primary objective 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.

To find out more and to apply for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant, businesses can go to the Newark and Sherwood District Council website here: www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/coronavirus/advice-for-businesses

To support other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is also giving a more than £100 million boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities across England.

The District Council is awaiting further government guidance on this grant but they will update their ‘advice for businesses’ web page once they know more.

Local authorities will have discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need. The ARG top up will be prioritised for those local authorities that have distributed the most of their existing allocation. This is on top of the £250 million previously allocated funding that remains with local authorities across the country.

To provide continued support to the cultural sector, £30 million further funding will be made available nationally through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter to March 2022.

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