Coronavirus: Business Support Grants

Last updated: 18 January 2022

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes and Additional Restrictions Grant schemes are now open to applications.

Details on eligibility and how to apply for both schemes is provided below.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

On 21 December 2021 the Chancellor announced additional support for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors who have been impacted by the Omicron variant.

Read the full announcement on GOV.UK

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes are now open to applications. Further Additional Restrictions Grant funding is also expected and a decision on how to distribute this funding to ensure that it supports those eligible businesses most in need will be made in the new year.

Thresholds

The primary principle of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme 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 sectors.

The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  1. Businesses that are the ratepayer for a property with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  2. Businesses that are the ratepayer for a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  3. Businesses that the ratepayer for a property with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000

Eligibility criteria

Businesses must have been trading in the hospitality, leisure or accommodation sectors on 30 December 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme.

Businesses that are not within the ratings system will not be eligible to receive funding under this scheme.

Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding.

Hospitality

  • Hospitality definition: a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business should exclude food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway.
  • Eligible businesses: Food courts, Public houses/pub restaurants, Restaurants, Roadside restaurants, Wine bars, Cafés

Leisure

  • 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. For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude all retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators.
  • Eligible businesses: Casinos and gambling clubs, Cinemas, Museums and art galleries, Stately homes & historic houses, Theatres, Zoos & safari parks, Amusement parks, Wedding venues, Events venues, Night clubs & discotheques, Arenas, Concert halls, Tourist attractions, Theme parks, Amusement arcades, Soft play centres or areas, Indoor riding centres, Clubs & institutions, Village halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

Accommodation

  • Accommodation definition: a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes. For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should exclude private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.
  • Eligible businesses: Caravan parks, Caravan sites and pitches, Chalet parks, Coaching inns, Country house hotels, Guest houses, Hostels, Hotels, Lodge, Holiday apartments, Cottages or bungalows, Campsites, Boarding houses, Canal boats or other vessels, B&Bs, Catered holiday homes Holiday homes

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through the Council’s grant portal but please read the eligibility criteria before starting your grant application.

The scheme will close to new applications on 28 February 2022.

Apply for a grant

If you require any assistance with your application please email businessgrants@milton-keynes.gov.uk and we will contact you. Please do not call the Business Rates team as they are unable to help with grant applications

Additional Restrictions Grant

Horsham District Council has been provided with a top up of Additional Restrictions Funding to provide support to businesses impacted by the Omicron variant.

Eligibility criteria

Applications are currently being accepted from

  • Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors but who are not eligible for the Omicron Hospitality & Leisure Grant because they are not business ratepayers
  • Business ratepayers that are not eligible for Omicron grants because they do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Hospitality and Leisure Sector but the business has been severely impacted by the rise in the Omicron variant.

Additionally the business must:

  • have been open and trading on 31 December 2021
  • be in the able to demonstrate a significant impact due to the Omicron variant for example loss of income due to cancellation of bookings or orders etc.
  • not be insolvent , in administration or subject to a winding up order
  • not have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through the Council’s grant portal but please read the eligibility criteria before starting your grant application.

The scheme will close to new applications on 28 February 2022 or when all available funding has been allocated , whichever is the earlier.

Apply for a grant

If you require any assistance with your application please email businessgrants@milton-keynes.gov.uk and we will contact you. Please do not call the Business Rates team as they are unable to help with grant applications

Update to COVID-19 business grant subsidy allowance

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. This does not impact the limited circumstances in which State aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU

On Thursday 4 March new subsidy allowances were established for the COVID-19 business grants schemes, on the basis of the principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA.

The below scheme rules should be applied to applicants at the level of economic actor, which is defined as an entity or a group of entities constituting a single economic entity regardless of its legal status, that is engaged in an economic activity by offering goods or services on a market.

There are three subsidy allowances for this scheme set out below: Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance.

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Grants may be paid in accordance with Article 3.2(4) of the TCA, which enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum level of subsidy without engaging Chapter 3 of the TCA. This allowance is 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, to a single economic actor over any period of three fiscal years, which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021. An applicant may elect not to receive grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and instead receive grants only using the below allowances available under this scheme.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency). For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

The Special Allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);

  1. Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit and loss;
  2. ‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;
  3. The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs;
  4. Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £9,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;
  5. Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

COVID Additional Relief Fund

On 15 December 2021 the Government published details of the Covid Additional Relief Fund. The Government guidance for the Covid Additional Relief fund announced on 15 December can be found on GOV.UK. The Council is reviewing the Government guidance and a decision on how to distribute this funding to ensure that it supports those eligible businesses most in need will be made in the new year.