Government announces £30million+ support for North East businesses hit by Omicron Covid variant
North East businesses hit hardest by the Omicron coronavirus variant can share in more than £33million support.
The Government has today, Friday, January 7, announced grant funding to councils in the region which will allow hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses to apply for one-off cash grants of up to £6,000.
Many firms in the three sectors have seen a significant decline in footfall and increased cancellations due to concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant.
Now they will be able to apply for grants depending on rateable value:
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
In addition, more than £3million in discretionary funding is also being made available for local authorities in the North East to support other businesses.
Business Minister Paul Scully said the Government appreciated firms were struggling: “The Omicron variant has been spreading fast and I know how much disruption it has caused many businesses this winter, especially in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
“I’m urging businesses in the North East and across the country to engage with their council to make the most of the grants we’re providing. By making use of the support on offer, looking out for one another, and getting our booster jabs, we can all redouble our efforts to defeat this virus.”
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 impacted by Omicron, such as those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as personal care services, are also able to apply to their local authority for grants, with the government allocating more than £100million to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund for councils in England.
Local authorities will have discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need.
The Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has written to those local authorities who still have more than five per cent left over from their previous ARG funding rounds, instructing them to disburse their remaining money.