Grants and COVID Business Rates Relief

The Guidance on the new Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant, the additional ARG Grant and the COVID Additional Relief Fund have all been published and all these are now live to claim for at https://midsussex.grantapproval.co.uk.

  • Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The grant eligibility is largely the same as previous grants to hospitality and leisure businesses. The key features are:

    • Businesses with a rateable value of up to £15k will get £2,667
    • Businesses with a rateable value above £15k but less than £51k will get £4,000
    • Businesses with a rateable value over £51k will get £6,000
    • Leisure business are defined as a business that provide opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out
    • Retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators are specifically excluded from the scheme (from this and the list of eligible businesses below, it would seem that Travel Agents have also been excluded but I need to check this)

Gyms, sports clubs and riding stables do not qualify.

Mid Sussex DC has been given an allocation of £1,206,072 for this grant (although if we pay any amount above according to the guidelines BEIS will reimburse us)

We were the first Council in the country to open up to take OHL grant claims via Grant Approval. All claims must be made by the 28th Feb 2022 and all payments made by the 31st March 2022

The list of eligible businesses is:

Support typeTypes of businesses
HospitalityFood courts

Public houses/pub restaurants Restaurants

Roadside restaurants Wine bars

Cafés

LeisureCasinos 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 Clubs & institutions Village halls & scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

AccommodationCaravan 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

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The guidance is at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044354/omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant-guidance.pdf.

Additional Restrictions Grant

The new guidance for the additional £102m ARG funding is also very similar to the previous guidance. This third top-up is being allocated to councils on a per business basis, as per previous tranches. Some of the key features are:

    • Unlike previous tranches, councils are not allowed to use this new funding for business support activities so all funding must be given to businesses as grants payments.
    • All ARG funding, including this tranche, need to be paid by 31 March 2022. All claims must be made by the 28th Feb 2022
    • Businesses must self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria (including subsidy allowance) and Local Authorities must verify the evidence provided as part of prepayment checks
    • Councils are specifically encouraged to provide funding for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, the travel and tourism sector, including group travel, travel agents and tour operators, coach operators, wedding industries, nightclubs, theatres, events industries, wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), gyms, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding.
    • There is no restriction on the number of grants a business may receive, subject to subsidy allowance limits, although with limited funding we may restrict grants.

The guidance is at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044351/additional-restrictions-grant-la-guidance.pdf

Mid Sussex DC has been given an allocation of £314,352 for this discretionary grant (this is a limited pot so must not spend above it)

We are seeking an agreed set of West Sussex Council guidelines and as a discretionary grant will seek the Leaders sign off.  Subject to sign off we are hoping to open for online claims via Grant Approval on the 17th January 2022 with a closing date of the 28th February 2022 (we will close earlier if over subscribed)

Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on 15th December 2021 the Government introduced a new business rates relief scheme called the “Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund” (CARF).

The scheme applies for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 and is subject to restrictions:

  • The scheme is only available to properties that are ineligible for the Extended Retail Relief Scheme (businesses ineligible due to reaching subsidy allowance cash limits are also excluded) or Nursery Discount or the Airport Fund
  • Only businesses occupied and liable for Business Rates on 1 April 2021 are eligible to apply for the fund
  • The property must be occupied. Empty properties are not eligible
  • If there is no Business Rates liability for the financial year (after other reliefs) the business will not be eligible for this relief

Businesses must demonstrate that they have suffered a significant loss in income because of the COVID-19 crisis, and will be required to provide evidence during the application process.

The scheme will be subject at Mid Sussex DC to a cash limit of £3,444,062 (this is a limited pot we cannot spend above) in accordance with Government guidelines. There is a maximum relief of £10,000 or £20,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Full guidelines for this scheme can be found within the  Government Guidance document. (Opens in a new window) , and Mid Sussex DC with 3 other LA’s in West Sussex has an agreed set of guidelines it is working to.

Claims can be made online via Grant Approval.  The closing date will be the 30th January 2022 and we are looking to award as a percentage against the net rates liability to qualifying properties in 2021-22 before we hopefully award before annual billing for 2022-23.

Please do let Mid Sussex District Council know if you need any additional information information or clarification via email at businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk