OMICRON GRANTS ELIGIBILITY REVEALED

Local authorities have been issued guidance on eligibility and applications for the two grants to support leisure, hospitality and accommodation businesses economically impacted by the Omicron Variant.



Applications will go live from next week on local authority websites and you can find your relevant council to here to check the latest status of their application process.


OMICRON HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT :- FOR RATEABLE BUSINESSES


Those eligible businesses who are on the business rates register should apply via their local council website before the closure of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme on February 28th 2022.


Grants are per premises and the amount paid is varied by rateable value (RV) of each eligible premises, in three bands: -


Rateable Value £0-15k £15-51k >£51k

Value of grant £2,667k £4,000k £6,000


ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT


Non rateable business who are eligible should apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant from their local council website. Each council will be free to determine local payment levels under the A.R.G. outside of the business rates system.




ELIGIBILITY FOR THE OHLGS


The aim 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

Businesses will only be eligible where their main service falls within hospitality, leisure or accommodation.


If a 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 their overall income.


The main service principle will determine whether a business receives funding.

Businesses will need to declare which is their main service.


Local Authorities will need to exercise their reasonable judgement to determine whether or not a business is eligible for grants and be satisfied that they have taken reasonable and practicable steps to pay eligible businesses.


Businesses excluded from the fund


You cannot get funding if:

  • your business is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register

  • you will exceed the permitted subsidy allowance

  • your business is not on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) ratings list


HOSPITALITY


For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a

business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and

sale of food and drink.


Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is

eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public

  • Businesses that provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business should exclude: 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


For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business

that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture,

recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.


Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is

eligible for a grant under this threshold:


• Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition

to goods.

• Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour.

• Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities.

• Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and

weekends.


For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude:

all retail businesses, coach tour operators and tour operators.



ACCOMODATION


For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as

a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other

purposes.


Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is

eligible for a grant under this threshold:


• Businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for

work or leisure purposes.

• Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday

purposes.


For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should

exclude: private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care

homes, residential family centres and beach huts.



The table below provides an indicative list of the types of businesses

that can be supported under the OHLG scheme.

ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT


In allocating the payment councils have been given guidance to focus on businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant, and to take into account the level of fixed costs of the business, the number of employees the business has, whether it is unable to trade online and the consequent scale of coronavirus losses.


Applicants may include businesses not on the local authority rating list, but are not limited to: hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, the travel and tourism sector, including group travel, travel agents and tour operators, coach operators, wedding industries, nightclubs, theatres, events industries, wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), gyms, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding.

Local Authorities need to manage their application and payment process to achieve all spend by 31 March 2022, as payments after this date will not be allowed in any circumstances


For the purposes of this grant scheme, 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.


Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions.


To help further, 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 click and collect 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


This list of indicators is not exhaustive and Local Authorities must use their discretion to determine if a business is trading.



As a minimum, Local Authorities must hold the following information on all applicants:


  • Name of business

  • Business Trading Address including postcode

  • 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

  • Nature of Business

  • Date business established

  • Number of employees

  • Business rate account number (if applicable)

  • Cumulative total of previous funding received under all COVID-19 business grants schemes

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