Hospitality and leisure businesses urged to apply for Omicron cash
Grants of up to £6,000 are now available to hospitality and leisure businesses across the district which have suffered the effects of the disruption caused by the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
Businesses have until 14 February this year to apply for help from the government scheme which is being administered by Canterbury City Council on its behalf. The final payments will be made by 31 March.
Lead councillor for regeneration, tourism and economic development, Cllr Barbara Flack, said: “We know what an incredibly tough time a range of businesses and those people who work for them have been through in recent months and will do our utmost to get payments out of the door to those who qualify as quickly as we can.
“To help us be as efficient as we can, businesses need to check they qualify and supply all of the information we need.
“Quite rightly when it comes to public money, the government has set out detailed rules on who we can pay and the information we need to report back to it so it is satisfied the cash is going to the right places.”
The Omicron Leisure and Hospitality grants are property based and will be paid to whoever pays the business rates. Some businesses may get more than one grant where they have more than one eligible property.
A business with a property of a rateable value of £1 to £15,000 will receive £2,667.
A business with a property of a rateable value of £15,001 to £50,999 will receive £4,000.
A business with a property of a rateable value of £51,000 will receive £6,000.
To be eligible for a grant, a business must meet five criteria:
- occupy properties that are in the ratings list
- that were trading on 30 December 2021
- be in the hospitality, leisure or accommodation sector
- offer ‘in-person’ services from the premises that they are applying for
- be within the subsidy allowance limits
Examples of hospitality businesses include:
- food courts
- pubs and wine bars including those with restaurants
- restaurants, including those by the roadside and in pubs, and cafes
Examples of leisure businesses include:
- casinos and gambling clubs
- cinemas and theatres
- art galleries, stately homes and historic houses
- tourist attractions, theme and amusement parks and amusement arcades
- zoos and safari parks
- wedding and events venues
- nightclubs and discotheques
- arenas and concert halls
- soft play centres
- indoor riding centres
- clubs, institutions and village halls
- scout huts and cadet huts
Examples of eligible businesses providing accommodation include:
- caravan sites and pitches, campsites and chalet parks
- coaching inns, hotels, guest houses, hostels and lodges
- holiday apartments
- boarding houses
- canal boats or other vessels
- bed and breakfasts
- holiday homes including those that are catered
The businesses that will not be eligible for a grant include:
- those not in the rating system
- those that were long-term empty or undergoing major works on 30 December 2021
- those have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
- those in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
- food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (this does not apply to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions)
- all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators
- private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts
At the end of last week, the government told the council that the district has been given an extra £231,260 as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) discretionary scheme for businesses.
Cllr Flack said: “We welcome the extra support for business and are in the process of reviewing the criteria we used last time around. This scheme will be administered by a team of council officers from across the council that we are in the process of pulling together.
“We absolutely understand the urgency and as soon as this scheme is ready to go live we will let everyone know.”
Published: 12 January 2022