By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
GRANTS are now available for hospitality and leisure industry businesses hit by the Omicron variant of coronavirus and there are still a few weeks left before the deadline for applications.
Both Gosport and Fareham borough councils have the details and an application form on their websites but they differ in the information provided.
Whereas the Fareham Borough Council website states applications must be submitted by February 16, 2022, the Gosport Borough Council website does not provide a deadline date – The Globe enquired and was told the application should be received by February 20.
Eligible and excluded types of business
The eligibility criteria for a grant include that the business must have been liable for business rates on December 30, been trading on that date, and offering in-person services in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.
For the purposes of the scheme, the definitions of these sectors are:
- hospitality – a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.
- leisure – a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.
- accommodation – a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes.
Fareham Borough Council adds that 50 per cent of the business activity must be within these sectors.
Excluded are food kiosks, businesses whose main service is a takeaway, all retail businesses and tour operators, while in the accommodation sector residential and care homes together with educational accommodation are also not eligible.
A list of eligible and excluded types of business is available on the Fareham Borough Council website.
Amounts paid out depend on rateable value
The Gosport Borough Council website specifies the amount of grant available, as follows:
- businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
- businesses occupying properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
- businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000
And it states: “Grant Payments will only be made to UK bank accounts.”
The Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, urges businesses to apply for the grant, adding: “The latest variant of COVID-19 and the resulting wave of restrictions have had a significant impact on local businesses which were already suffering under the pressure of recent years.
The money paid out by the local authorities in these grants comes from the government’s £1 billion Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme announced in December.
Image (top): Coronavirus business icon. UK Government