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Support for Businesses

 

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant


On 21 December 2021, the Government announced the introduction of grant support for hospitality and leisure businesses in England. The scheme provides support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks.
 
The Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant will NOT be awarded automatically and you MUST apply if you meet the eligibility criteria detailed below.
 
Who is eligible?

The grants are available to eligible, trading hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses (in occupation) as defined in the government guidance and who were liable for business rates as at 30 December 2021 and continue to trade.

The primary principle of the Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant is 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 business sectors whose business was:
 
  • Trading on 30 December 2021
  • Liable for Business Rates on 30 December 2021
  • Offers an in-person service
  • Is not in administration, insolvent or a striking off notice has been made
  • Has not already received grant payments that equal or exceed the maximum permitted in the Business Grant Subsidy Allowance

If your business operates services that could be considered hospitality, leisure or accommodation and also fall into another category, the main service can be determined by assessing which category constitutes 50% or more of your overall income. You will need to declare which is the main service of your business on the application.
 
Business Sector Definitions

Hospitality

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 using the following criteria:
 
  • 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 retail should exclude:
 
  • Food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).
 
Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business 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 using the following criteria:
 
  • 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
  • Tour operators
  • Gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis
 
Accommodation

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 using the following criteria:
 
  • 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
  • Beach huts
 
 Who is not eligible 
 
  • Businesses that are not within the ratings system
  • Businesses that are not within the prescribed sectors as defined above
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
 
Funding

The Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant will support businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in England with one off grants of up to £6,000.
 
The following thresholds are detailed in the table below:
 
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant
RATEABLE VALUE AS AT 30/12/2021 ONE OFF GRANT PAYMENT
RV of Exactly £15,000 or under £2,667
RV Over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £4,000
RV Exactly £51,000 or above £6,000
 
Before you start

You will need the following information in order to complete the application form:
Proof of bank details

We require two months full bank statements dated within the last 3 months relating to your company to help prevent fraud and establish your eligibility for the Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

The Business bank statements must:
  • Include the name of the business ratepayer, address, sort code and account number
  • Match the bank account details as  provided on your application form
  • Transactions MUST NOT be redacted. Redacted bank statements will render the application ineligible.

You will also need:
  • Your Business Rates Account Reference Number (this will be on your most recent bill).
  • Details of your company/VAT registration number as shown with companies house/HMRC
  • Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC), this can be found by clicking on the following link;
 
Proof of identity
 
Following documents are accepted as proof of identity:
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport

You can upload scanned copies or pictures of your supporting documents. Attachment size must not exceed 15Mb per attachment. We accept:
  • PDFs (.pdf)
  • word documents (.doc or .docx)
  • images (.jpg or .png)

What should you expect from us?

Once your application has been submitted, the Business Rates Service will check if you are eligible for a grant payment and make a payment to you as soon as possible. We aim to process within 10 working days following receipt of all necessary supporting information, however this may take longer in some cases where queries arise or where the number of applications received is high.  Eligible applications will be paid and processed as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your patience. If your business is not eligible to receive an Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant we will contact you by email to tell you why.

You should not submit repeat payment requests and accept the acknowledgement email you receive when submitting the application form as receipt. We appreciate that businesses require grant funding as soon as possible, however requests for progress on applications redirects limited resources away from assessing and paying grant applications. We aim to check and process payments to everyone as quickly as possible.

If your business is eligible, a payment will be made direct to the nominated bank account you have provided on your application form. We may need to contact you if we cannot pay you the grant, or if further information is required to process your application.

Fraud

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered, as may any grants paid in error.
 
Local Authorities are required to undertake pre-payment checks for all Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant payments. These checks are required to be undertaken before any payments are issued to businesses. It is a requirement for the Local Authority to look at both the company and the company’s bank account.
 
The Government is supporting Local Councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.
 
Business Grant Subsidy Allowance

Businesses will be subject to the financial limits set out in the Business Grant Subsidy Allowance. Businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible premises.
The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020 (there are some limited circumstances in which State aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement).  On Thursday 4 March 2021 new subsidy allowances were established for the COVID19 business grants schemes, on the basis of the principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA. The scheme rules can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complying-with-the-uks-international-obligations-on-subsidy-control-guidance-for-public-authorities

Data Sharing

The Business Rates Service may hold some of the information from previous grant schemes, however, Central Government requires the additional information for the Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant. 

Tameside Council will use your data for the processing of your Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant application.
We may check the information you provide or the information about you which somebody else provides, with other details we hold. If the law allows us, we may also receive information from other people or organisations or give information to them to check the accuracy of records, to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways.

The Privacy Notice below explains how the Council uses information about you and the ways in which we protect your privacy:  https://www.tameside.gov.uk/TamesideMBC/media/Data-Protection/Business-Support-Grants.pdf

The Local Authority may share your data with The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The BEIS privacy notice can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-grant-schemes-privacy-notice/covid-19-grant-schemes-privacy-notice.
 
Application Process

You can apply for the Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant if you are registered for Business Rates and were trading as at 30 December 2021.
As part of your application all businesses are required to self-certify that you meet
ALL eligibility criteria.
 
The full government guidance on the Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant can be found by clicking on the link:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044354/omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant-guidance.pdf
 
We do not accept applications from third parties.
 
Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Omicron, Hospitality and Leisure Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.
 
The application closure date for this scheme is 18 March 2022. Payments will be made no later than 31 March 2022.
 

APPLY FOR A OMICRON, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT


COVID–19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)
This new business rates relief scheme will support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates. 

As such it is not open to businesses that currently receive the Expanded Retail Discount, Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS). 

Any discretionary rate relief granted will reduce the chargeable amounts in respect of the rates for financial year 2021/22. 

The Government has recently published the guidance which has been sent to all Local Authorities, who are currently working to implement the above. The on-line applications will be live soon on this page. Please keep checking this webpage for updates.

The application closure date for this scheme is 18 March 2022.
 
 
Additional Restrictions Grant Fund

ADDITIONAL funding has been made available by the government to support businesses impacted by the Omicron COVID-19 variant and the associated Plan-B measures.  Tameside is receiving a £268,000 share of a national £102m fund for the re-opening of the Additional Restriction Grants Fund (ARG).
The fund is open to businesses not on the business ratings list and severely impacted by Omicron on a first come, first served basis.  This includes domestic-based businesses and Tameside taxi licence holders. The full guidance is published here Guidance for applications to Tameside Council for Additional Restrictions Grant Fund

For further information on the above scheme, please click on the link below:
Additional Restrictions Grant Fund (tameside.gov.uk)
 

Business Rates Update / Support


Financial Support to Businesses

Nursery discount update
Retail discount update

Government has confirmed a package of financial measures to support businesses.
 
The financial measures include:

Business Rates Recovery

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many of our businesses and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.
 
Your Business Rates pays for our essential services that are delivered to all residents in the Council, so it is really important that if your circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you should, maintain your direct debit payments, or payment plan, as detailed on your bill. Thank you for your contribution.
 
If you are struggling to pay your Business Rates get in touch with us. We would encourage anyone who is struggling to contact us at businessrates@tameside.gov.uk so that we can ensure that you are getting all of the support and relief you are entitled to.
 
We can also look at your arrears so that we consider everything you owe to us and avoid any extra costs or charges.
If you are self-employed and your income reduces, you may be able to claim Universal Credit from the DWP and Council Tax Support from the Council
www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit 
www.tameside.gov.uk/ctax/counciltaxsupport
 
We urge all businesses to pay what they can and seek advice where possible.
 
The Council are awaiting guidance in relation to support available to businesses for the 2021/22 financial year, once the information is known this page will be updated.
 
Applications for Local Restriction Support Grants are now open, if you have not made an application yet please follow the guidance below.

 

 

Additional Business Support

Government have created a website covering all of the support measures put in place: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses 


Please visit https://www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus/supportforbusiness to find information on wider business support available within Tameside and Greater Manchester.

Important Note: You do not need to employ Rating Agents or other organisations outside of the Council to claim support that is available. These agents will probably take a percentage of any relief or grant they claim on your behalf. Please be extra careful with what you sign and how you respond to organisations that may contact you offering support.
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