Applications have now opened for eligible businesses in the borough to apply to Cheshire East Council to access grants through the government’s Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme.
The scheme, announced by the Chancellor before Christmas 2021, will allow rate-paying hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses to secure grants of up to £6,000 if they have experienced difficulties in trading due to the Omicron Covid-19 variant. Organisations eligible include bars, restaurants, wedding and events venues, soft play centres, museums, theatres, tourist attractions, indoor riding centres, caravan parks, hotels and B&Bs.
Applications for the grants will close at midnight on 28th February 2022 and can be submitted via Cheshire East Council’s website. Payments to businesses that successfully apply will be made by 31 March 2022.
Cllr Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said:
“The Omicron coronavirus variant has presented a further set of significant challenges to businesses and we are pleased to now be able to take applications for this government grant.
“This latest scheme covers a range of hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses and I urge business owners to check whether they are eligible as soon as possible.”
Cheshire East Council is also urging businesses to check whether they are eligible for the authority’s Business Interruption Fund, applications for which also close at midnight on 28 February 2022.
The fund is for businesses that can demonstrate they have continued to be impacted by the pandemic and the council recently increased the amount of support available to a maximum of £10,000 per business.
It means that those who previously applied for funding and received the maximum amount available at that time – £5,000 – can now submit a further application. Cllr Mannion added:
“We are pleased to have already paid out more than £532,000 to Cheshire East businesses through our Business Interruption Fund.
“However, we know that there are many others that are eligible for this funding that have not yet submitted their application.
“As with the other grant schemes available, there is a limited resource and awards will be granted on a first come, first served basis, so I urge businesses to apply without delay.”
The Business Interruption Fund is being distributed using a further allocation of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) by government, which recently pledged a top-up for this.
The council has now received detailed guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will make any amendments to its policies as necessary once the guidance has been fully reviewed.
The council would like to remind businesses that its Recovery and Growth Grant also remains open to applications until midnight on 28 February 2022.
The grant is available to businesses seeking to invest in their premises, facilities or equipment to enable them to reopen quickly, bring staff and customers safely back to work, or to capitalise on new opportunities.
For further details about all the Covid-19 support and grant schemes available and to apply, visit the council’s help for businesses webpages.