Omicron additional restrictions grant
The Omicron additional restrictions grant has now closed. We received £675,100 from the Government, to award grants to between 200 and 250 businesses. We carefully considered which business types and business sectors could be supported with this limited funding.
Who could apply?
Discretionary grants were available to sole traders and micro/small/medium sized businesses occupying business premises subject to business rates, in the five sectors shown below. The business must have been trading and does not have to be the direct ratepayer.
The seven categories of businesses that were eligible to apply were:
Non-business rate payers that would have been eligible for the Omicron hospitality and leisure grant if they had been the direct ratepayer. Businesses will need to provide a current lease and evidence rent payments.
Businesses in ‘shared spaces’ which do not pay rates directly to us are required to provide evidence of a current lease and rent payments. Additional evidence of premises costs may be required when the application is reviewed.
Have generally been severely impacted throughout the pandemic due to on-going domestic and international travel restrictions and levels of caution. They were generally severely affected by the Omicron variant; however for national grant purposes are classed as non-essential retail, so are not eligible for the Omicron hospitality and leisure grant.
For those that we supported from earlier grants including the Additional restrictions grant (ARG) – including marquee hire, coach hire and coach tour operators, event caterers, event operators and local breweries. It is clear that these have generally been severely affected by Omicron. For this reason, it is appropriate that we should generally continue to support these businesses, together with any fresh applications. We reserve the right to request evidence of income loss.
Not all suppliers will have been severely affected, depending on their customer base. Businesses will need to supply an accountant’s letter confirming a reduction in revenue (income) in November/December and into January due to Omicron of at least 30% of their normal expected revenues. We reserve the right to require further evidence.
These include dance and fitness studios; sports centres and clubs; sports courts; swimming pools and golf courses where physical exercise or training is conducted. Businesses will need to supply an accountant’s letter confirming a reduction in revenue (income) in November/December and into January due to Omicron of at least 30% of their normal expected revenues. We reserve the right to require further evidence.
The area must be physically separate from the space used for worship. The grant relates only to the community facilities. Applicants who received a discretionary grant in earlier rounds are not required to evidence loss of income. Any new applicants will need to supply an accountant’s letter confirming a reduction in revenue (income) in November/December and into January due to Omicron of at least 30% of their normal expected revenues. We reserve the right to require further evidence before making any award.
Businesses which provide a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing. These include hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons, spas, saunas, steam rooms, tanning salons, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing venues, holistic therapy.
Note that businesses which provide goods, rather than services, are not eligible. Neither are premises used primarily for medical purposes such as dentists, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services.
Businesses should explain how they were severely affected by Omicron. This should be a signed statement in Word or PDF and uploaded as an attachment to the application.
To be severely affected, the business should have suffered a loss of revenue (income) in November/December and into January due to Omicron of at least 30% of their normal expected revenues. Additional costs may also be referenced, for example enhanced cleaning. We reserve the right to require further evidence.
There are many businesses in the sector and if applications exceed the reserved funding at the standard grant values, the funding may be shared across all eligible applications.
The funding reserved for the sector is being shared across all eligible applications. See ‘how much will I receive’ below for details.
Who cannot apply?
- Businesses must not have received, or be eligible for the Omicron hospitality and leisure grant
- Businesses must be occupying premises liable for business rates, whether or not the business is the actual ratepayer
- Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
- Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of subsidy (State aid).
How much will I receive?
Grants will be for each rateable premise, based on the rateable value. This is a one-off grant. Sectors other than personal care receive:
- rateable value of £15,000 or less: a grant of £2,667 (this also applies to ‘shared spaces’ where the business is not the direct ratepayer)
- rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000: a grant of £4,000
- rateable value of £51,000 or above: a grant of £6,000.
The £330,000 funding reserved for the personal care sector is being shared out amongst the 260 eligible businesses that applied. The grants are:
- rateable value of £15,000 or less: a grant of £1,250 (this also applies to ‘shared spaces’ where the business is not the direct ratepayer)
- rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000: a grant of £1,875
- rateable value of £51,000 or above: a grant of £2,815.
We will consider paying grants on two or more premises to the same business at our discretion.
Payment of any grant award will be made by 31 March. Grants are taxable and should be included as income in the tax return of the business.
This scheme is covered by three possible subsidy allowances:
- Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you are allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) in Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over any rolling period of three financial years
- COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – under this allowance you are 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 three allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £12,235,000 (subject to exchange rates).
How do I apply?
We have now closed applications for this fund. We are operating this grant scheme on behalf of the Government and it will be administered in line with government guidelines.
We are not allowed to pay grants automatically to businesses that received grants earlier in the pandemic, or to use evidence previously supplied.
Alongside the government, we will not tolerate fraud. Any fraudulent applications will be subject to further investigation, and any grant payments will be subject to recovery action. All applications will undergo a number of counter-fraud checks.
All data related to business grant applications may be shared with the Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.