Coronavirus : Guidance for businesses

COVID-19 Business Grants

This page is updated regularly. Please check back for the latest information.

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Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant: Closes Friday, 11 February 2022

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme aims 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.

Please note: Unlike the Restart Grant, Personal Care businesses are not eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHL) mandatory scheme.  Personal Care businesses may include Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauty Salons, Nail Salons, Tanning Salons and Tattoo Artists (this list it not exhaustive). 

The scheme will provide support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses. The rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are struggling and this scheme will support those businesses.

The support will be a one-off grant, available for businesses on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) business ratings list on 30 December 2021 only.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant amounts available

Rateable value Grant award amount
Rateable value of £15,000 or under £2,667
Rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £4,000
Rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over £6,000

All grant income received by a business is taxable. This grant is subject to subsidy allowance rules.

Businesses will be familiar with our online application process from the previous grant schemes administered by the council. Please ensure you have the following before applying:

  • bank statement covering transactions for 30 December 2021. Please ensure this show the bank account name, sort code and account number
  • your unique business rates reference number (located on your NNDR/business rates bill from the council)
  • Your business unique reference number (company number, tax reference number, VAT number, self-assessment number etc)

In order to be considered for this grant your application must be received by 11:59pm Friday, 11 February 2022.

Apply for Omicron hospitality and leisure grant

Business categorisation for the purposes of grant funding eligibility

Threshold definitions for the purposes of this scheme are as below:

  • hospitality definition
    a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink;
  • leisure definition
    a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming;
  • accommodation definition
    a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

This list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme.

Support type Type of business
Hospitality Food courts
Public houses and pub restaurants
Restaurants and roadside restaurants
Wine bars and cafes
Leisure Casinos and gambling clubs
Cinemas
Museums and art galleries
Stately homes and historic houses
Theatres, Zoos and safari parks, Amusement parks
Wedding venues and events venues
Night clubs and discotheques
Arenas and concert halls
Tourist attractions, Theme parks, Amusement arcades
Soft play centres or areas
Clubs and institutions, Village halls and scout huts, cadet huts, etc.
Accommodation Caravan parks, caravan sites and pitches, chalet parks, campsites
Coaching inns, country house hotels, guest houses, hostels, hotels, lodge, holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows, boarding houses
Canal boats or other vessels
B and Bs, catered holiday homes, holiday homes

Additional Restrictions Grant (2022) (Not Open Yet)

The Government have announced a third top up amount to local authorities for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), to support businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant. Grants will be issued at the discretion of the local authority and will be based on local economic need.

While updated guidance has been received for this grant scheme, as yet there has been no indication of how much funding will be made available to the council to administer this scheme.

A policy document setting out the full eligibility criteria will follow in January 2022 once funding allocations have been confirmed. A link to an online application form will appear on this page when available.

GOV.UK have information on further financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Additional Restrictions Grant (Discretionary Grant Scheme) - Closed

The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period 1 April 2021 onwards designed to provide support alongside the mandatory Restart Grants closed on 15 July 2021.

If further Additional Restrictions Grant funding is to be distributed as grants, this page will be updated.

Following the delay in stage four of the Government roadmap to ease remaining Covid restrictions, Cherwell District Council used its Additional Restriction Grant funding to support those businesses that successfully applied for the Restart Grant or the Additional Restrictions Grant discretionary equivalent and were awarded the higher Strand 2 payments (those that fall within Leisure, Accommodation, Hospitality, Personal Care and Gyms) with a one-off top-up grant award.

Qualifying businesses were emailed invitations to complete a condensed application form and declaration on 08 July 2021.  The application process was not opened for new applicants.

  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 2 December 2020 closed on 21 December 2020.  
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 15 February 2021 closed on 1 February 2021.
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period ending 31 March 2021 closed on 24 March 2021.
  • Declarations for the period ending 31 March 2021 have been sent to applicants who either successfully applied or are awaiting the outcome of their application for the period ending 15 February 2021. The deadline for declarations to be returned to us was extended to 1 April 2021.
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period 1 April 2021 onwards designed to provide support alongside the mandatory Restart Grants closed on 20 May 2021
  • The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant top up payments in addition to the Restart Grant mandatory scheme and Additional Restrictions Grant discretionary equivalent closed on 15 July 2021

Local Authorities have been allocated funding under the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). This funding is to support businesses alongside the Local Restrictions Support Grant and can be used across financial years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

Local Authorities are required to determine how to use this funding to support local businesses in line with the eligibility criteria set out in the guidance provided by Government which encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses.

The Council agreed an Additional Restrictions Grant Policy in relation to the delay in stage 4 of the Government road map. Our goal is to try and support as many businesses as possible that have been affected by the national lockdown restrictions while keeping the individual grant amounts high enough that they will provide meaningful support to those businesses.

Exclusions to the scheme

  • Businesses which have chosen to close but are not required to close unless they can demonstrate significant financial impact as a result of restrictions 
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of Subsidy Allowance permitted
  • Businesses which are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Businesses must have a registered address in the Cherwell District to be eligible for this scheme. The business will need to be trading within the Cherwell District. Where a business is registered in another council area (although has a presence in the Cherwell District Council area) the council will take a discretionary view on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Businesses must have been actively trading on or before 05 July 2021.
  • Businesses must have a valid non-domestic rates account at 05 July 2021.
  • Businesses must have previously qualified for Cherwell District Council’s Restart Grant scheme or the Additional Restrictions Grant equivalent scheme, covering the period from 01 April 2021 onwards.
  • Businesses must be in the Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gym sectors or their immediate supply chain.
  • Businesses must operate from a business property with a rateable value.

Please note: In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, the Council may take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether they can continue to trade and the scale of the loss/impact of COVID-19.

Grant payments

The application process for the Additional Restrictions Grant for the period 1 April 2021 onwards designed to provide support alongside the mandatory Restart Grants closed on 15 July 2021.

As with other COVID-19 business grants, local grants to businesses will be treated as taxable income.


Local Restrictions Support Grant (Mandatory Scheme) - Closed

Applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for periods of restrictions between 5 November 2020 and 15 February 2021 closed nationally on 31 March 2021.

Applications for the Local Restrictions Support Grant for periods of restrictions between 16 February 2021 and 31 March 2021 closed nationally on 31 May 2021.

The dates that applications closed for the Local Restrictions Support Grant mandatory scheme were set by central Government and Local Authorities have no discretion to accept late applications.

Payments

As with other COVID-19 business grants, local grants to businesses will be treated as taxable income.

Please note: The above dates are periods of restrictions at the time of writing.  Please ensure that you follow current guidance from Central Government regarding your business.


Restart Grant (Mandatory Scheme) 1 April 2021 onwards - Closed

Applications for the Restart Grant closed nationally on 30 June 2021.

The date that applications closed for the Restart Grant mandatory scheme was set by central Government and Local Authorities have no discretion to accept late applications.

Payments

As with other COVID-19 business grants, local grants to businesses will be treated as taxable income.


Self-employment income support - grant extension

The UK Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has taken action to provide support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme