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Hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in North Devon who have been affected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, can now apply for one-off grants of up to £6,000.

There are two types of grants available, the first being the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) and the second being the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). Businesses will be eligible for different ones, depending on which sector they are in and whether they pay business rates.

The OHLG grant is available to businesses who were liable to pay business rates on 30 December 2021 and operate in-person services, on the business premises in the sectors of hospitality, leisure and accommodation.

The grant award will be based on the rateable value of the business premises: 

  • Rateable value of £15,000 or under - grants payments of £2,667 
  • Rateable value over £15,000 and under £51,000 - grant payments of £4,000 
  • Rateable value over £51,000 - grant payments of £6,000 

Eligible businesses can apply even if they have received Covid-19 financial support previously. 

A discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) will be provided to support businesses that were most impacted by the Omicron variant during December 2021, based on their need.

North Devon Council has been awarded £207,000 by the Government, who have specified that the following sectors should be prioritised: 

  • Non-business rate payers in hospitality, accommodation or leisure
  • Travel and tourism (business rate and non-business rate payers) including group travel, travel agents and tour operators, coach operators, English language schools
  • Personal care (business rate and non-business ratepayers)

The sectors mentioned below (business rate and non-business rate payers) are also eligible to apply for the ARG:

  • 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
  • Businesses outside the above list who feel they have been directly adversely affected financially due to the Omicron variant

Businesses that are not eligible for the ARG grant are:

  • Businesses who are eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant 
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels of subsidy
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • Businesses in the accommodation sector that only advertise on Airbnb
  • Business in the accommodation sector that are second homes that are let to paying guests less than 50% of the year
  • Bed and Breakfast businesses with more than 7 letting rooms

Leader of North Devon Council Cllr David Worden says: "Having received further Government funding, I am pleased that businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector can now apply for financial assistance to help them cope with Omicron's impact. This funding will make a significant difference to the local economy and we are very pleased to be able to process these applications and help distribute this important funding.

"Our team will continue to process business applications efficiently, and securely distribute funding to businesses that are eligible. I encourage eligible business owners to view our website and explore the support on offer."

Business owners are urged to find out whether they are eligible and apply as soon as possible.

More information and application forms for both grants can be found on the council's website on the coronavirus business support pages.

Further Government guidance on qualifying businesses and businesses that are excluded from the scheme can be found below:

OHLG Guidance

ARG Guidance