On 21 December 2021 alongside the mandatory Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant the Government announced that further Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding would be made available to Local Authorities to help support businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant.  Rother District Council has received £173,392 of this funding to support businesses within the District.

As with previous ARG funding it’s for each Local Authority to design their own scheme within the national criteria set by Government. However as the funding available has reduced from previous rounds, the Council’s scheme this time is narrower in scope than previous rounds. This means that many businesses that have previously received ARG funding will not be eligible for support this time.

The scheme is a one off grant called the Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant (OARG) which eligible businesses will be required to apply for. Values of awards will not be confirmed until after the application window has closed. This is so that we can make sure we fully understand the number of businesses that are eligible for support and are then able to award an appropriate value from the funding available. However the amounts awarded may differ between sectors.

Who is eligible?

Registered businesses operating in the following sectors impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant during December 2021. Eligible businesses will need to be trading from either business rated premises or be able to demonstrate significant regular fixed business related costs (excluding wages) .

  • Personal Care (businesses providing in person, close contact services, such as Hairdressing & Beauty therapy).
  • Travel and Tourism  ( businesses operating as travel agents or tour operators)
  • Kennels and Catteries
  • Catering (businesses providing in person offsite catering services)
  • Direct suppliers to the hospitality sector

Who is not eligible?

  • Businesses who are eligible for the national Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels for state subsidy
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been issued. 
  • Businesses that were not trading on 30 December 2021 
  • Businesses that cannot evidence that they have been significantly impacted by the Omicron COVID-19 variant
  • Businesses that cannot evidence significant regular fixed business related costs
  • Businesses not based and trading within Rother
  • Businesses that are part of a national chain

How to apply

The grant application window will OPEN on Thursday 3 February 2022, and CLOSE at 5.00 pm on Friday 25 February 2022. Businesses are advised to apply for the grants as soon as practicable, and to ensure that all the evidence is attached to the online grant form. No decisions on applications or award values will be given until after the application window has closed and all applications processed .

If you think you are eligible you can make an application online and submit any evidence for the Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant electronically.

Appeals

The Council has carefully considered which business types and business sectors can be supported from the limited ARG funding available. This is a discretionary grant scheme operated by the Council and it will be for the Council to decide whether to approve an application. There is no automatic entitlement to a grant under this scheme. It should not be assumed that by making an application the business will necessarily be awarded a grant. There shall be no right of appeal against a decision not to award a grant or the level of the award under this scheme.

Fraud and Error

Neither the Council or Government will accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to obtain a grant will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered, as may any grants paid in error.  The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.