Grant of up to £6,000 for businesses affected by Omicron Covid-19 variant

In late December, Rishi Sunak announced a £1 billion support package for businesses hit by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

In late December, Rishi Sunak announced a £1 billion support package for businesses hit by the Omicron variant of Covid-19. - Credit: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Businesses operating in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors across East Cambridgeshire are being urged to check if they are eligible for a one-off COVID grant of up to £6,000.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme (OHLGS) has been made available by Central Government in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means some businesses are likely to struggle financially.

Pubs, cafes, hotels, B&Bs and village halls are among the list of businesses that could be eligible for the scheme which is being administered on behalf of the Government by East Cambs District Council.

The OHLGS aims to support businesses that offer in-person (face-to-face) services, when the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

The deadline to apply for the OHLGS is February 28.

Grants will be paid per premises and the amounts paid will be based on the rateable value of premises on December 30, 2021, as follows:

· Rateable value of £0-£15,000 - £2667 grant

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· Rateable value of £15,001- £51,000 - £4000 grant

· Rateable value of £51,001 + - £6000 grant

Councillor David Brown, chairman of the finance and assets committee, said: “The package is designed to provide an emergency cash injection for those businesses which have seen their trade plummet over the Christmas period, largely because of the Omicron variant.

“As a council, we have done everything in our power to support businesses through an incredibly difficult time and this grant scheme is another avenue of help available for some of those sectors that are among the hardest hit.

“I would encourage all East Cambs businesses in the eligible sectors to make use of this vital funding by checking the criteria and applying.”

For the purposes of this scheme:

·  hospitality businesses are defined as those whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink

· leisure businesses are defined as those that provide opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out

· accommodation businesses are those whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes

The OHLGS is only available for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) ratings list.

More information, including eligibility and the application form, can be found on the Council’s website via: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/content/omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant-scheme-ohlg

If you experience any issues when completing the form, or require further help or advice, email covid19businessgrants@eastcambs.gov.uk or telephone 01353 665555.