West Suffolk Council has been working to support our residents and businesses throughout this pandemic, and to date we have administered more than £120m in business grants and rate relief.
With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 having an impact on businesses, West Suffolk Council will once again be working to administer further Government support to businesses over the next couple of months. Below are further details on the grants and rate relief to be made available.
Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) –opens to applications from Monday 17 January 2022.
These are one-off grants of up to £6,000 for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in the business rates system, whose trade has been impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The grant is subject to Government criteria, referenced in our guidelines atwww.westsuffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support/upload/COVID19-Omicron-Hospitality-and-Leisure-Grant-Scheme-Eligibility-Criteria.pdf
Due to fraud prevention and Government pre-payment checks that we have to adhere to, West Suffolk Council is unable to make automatic grant payments to previous grant recipients on this occasion. Businesses will instead need to make a new application for the OHLG payment.
The closing date for applications is 18 February 2022. We will begin paying out of grants once pre-payment checks have taken place. All of the OHLG grants are to be paid out no later than 31 March 2022.
Apply here westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business from 17 January 2022.
Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant (Omicron ARG)
The Government has given us £310,000 for us to offer discretionary grants to West Suffolk businesses. We are currently working through the detail given to us by Government and we are aiming to launch a local discretionary scheme early in the week of 24 January 2022.
Due to the limited level of funding available we will invite applications to be made by 20 February, after which we will decide on grant amounts based on evidence of the scale of impact on trade and other criteria. This does mean that no ARG grants can be paid until March 2022 and based on modelling of numbers from previous applications we expect that the levels of payment may be relatively small compared to those paid previously.
Businesses should keep an eye on thewww.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business webpage as well as the Council’s social media for updates nearer the time.
COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)
The Government has announced a COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to help businesses that have not previously been eligible for rate relief during the pandemic.
The fund will support councils in delivering a local discretionary scheme. We will be going through the Government guidance and modelling a scheme to distribute the rate relief to those businesses that need it the most and who have not already been helped.
Our aim is to implement this rate relief to businesses ahead of their annual billing in March. We will update our www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business webpage when we have more detail to share.