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Omicron support package announced - what you need to know

Although COVID restrictions are now being eased, many businesses were significantly affected by the shortfall in custom, especially over the Christmas and New year period, when they would have been expecting to see particularly high levels of trade.

Now businesses that were most affected by the Omicron variant will benefit from a new source of funding as the government delivers a support package to local authorities.

What grants are available?

The grants will vary in size depending on the rateable value of the business applying:

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £6,000.

  • Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £4,000.

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £2,667.

Who is eligible?

Businesses eligible for 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.

Other businesses affected by Omicron, such as those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors as well as personal care services, are also able to apply for grants with the government allocating more than £100 million to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England. Local authorities will have discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need.

What’s in the support package?

The package consists of:

  • £635 million for targeted grants for hospitality and leisure businesses in England

  • £102 million top-up for the Additional Restrictions Grant

  • £30 million for Culture Recovery Fund

  • £154 million of Barnett funding covering all three above

  • Funding for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme will be additional to these amounts

For more information, see the published factsheets that the government has released.

rradar tax expert Steve Tetley said:

“It is great to see that affected businesses are being supported through this extremely challenging period. The support is welcome, but businesses do need to be aware that any grants received are treated as taxable income.”