Hospitality, leisure, and accommodation businesses in West Suffolk can now apply for a new grant following the impact on the sector’s trade from the Omicron variant.
West Suffolk Council, which has administered more than £120 million in business grants and rate relief since the pandemic began, is inviting applications for the government’s Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).
The one-off grants of up to £6,000 are for businesses in the business rates system and the funding is subject to government criteria.
Due to fraud prevention and government pre-payment checks, 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.
Businesses should visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business to check if they are eligible and to apply for the new grant.
The closing date for applications is February 18. West Suffolk Council will begin paying out of grants once pre-payment checks have taken place. All the OHLG grants are to be paid out no later than March 31.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We know that the Christmas and New Year period has, in the past, been one of the busiest periods of the year for local restaurants and pubs. This year we have seen and heard of restaurants seeing hundreds of cancellations through people either becoming infected with Omicron or being more cautious about mixing indoors.
“This grant is to help these, and other hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector businesses recover some of those losses. We have put extra resource once more into getting these grants paid out to businesses as swiftly as possible. We would urge businesses to visit the webpage and apply ahead of the deadline.
“We are also working on a local discretionary scheme to provide some help to other businesses not covered by OHLG and we will announce more details on this as soon as we are able.”
Businesses should look out on West Suffolk Council’s social media channels as well as www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/c19business for more detail early next week.