We have an update on the latest additional financial support for businesses.
Financial Support for Businesses affected by the Omicron Variant
The Government have issued guidance on the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) announced before Christmas.
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme provides local councils with one-off grant funding to support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses. Businesses eligible for the grants are those:
- 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
Available grants for eligible business are as follows:
- Businesses with rateable value for business rates of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
- Businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
- Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.
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’. That is,
• 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
For the purposes of this scheme, a leisurebusiness 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’. That includes,
• 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.
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’. That is,
• 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.
In the guidance, businesses that fall into scope for hospitality, leisure and accommodation are listed as:
|Food courtsPublic houses/pub restaurantsRestaurantsRoadside restaurantsWine barsCafés||Casinos and gambling clubsCinemasMuseums and art galleriesStately homes & historic housesTheatresZoos & safari parksAmusement parksWedding venuesEvents venuesNight clubs & discothequesArenasConcert hallsTourist attractionsTheme parksAmusement arcadesSoft play centres or areasIndoor riding centresClubs & institutionsVillage halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.||Caravan parksCaravan sites and pitchesChalet parksCoaching innsCountry house hotelsGuest housesHostelsHotelsLodgeHoliday apartments,Cottages or bungalowsCampsitesBoarding housesCanal boats or othervesselsB&BsCatered holiday homesHoliday homes|
This list is indicative of the types of businesses but is not exhaustive. 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 Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the Government ‘expects’ the funding to help businesses that are severely impacted by the restrictions and the rise of the Omicron variant. In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, the guidance states that Local Authorities may want 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. Local Authorities are required to run a new application process for these grant applications.
We know that BwD Council are working hard to set up and administer the grant schemes as soon as possible and we’ll provide more information when it’s available.