Covid 19 Grant And Financial Support For Businesses

SUPPORTING BUSINESS

We want to be able to support our local businesses as much as possible throughout the pandemic – and beyond. On this page, you can find about guidance and what support is on offer for businesses.

COVID-19 GRANT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

 

1. OMICRON HOSPITALITY & LEISURE GRANT

Applications for the OMICRON HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANT are now open.  Businesses on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) rating and listed below are eligible to apply.

LIST OF ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES UNDER THE OHLG SCHEME

Hospitality

Food courts, public houses/pub restaurants, Restaurants, Roadside restaurants, Wine bars & Cafés

Leisure

Casinos 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.

Accommodation

Caravan parks, Caravan sites and pitches, Chalet parks, Coaching inns, Country house hotels & Guest houses

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THIS GRANT?

Please complete the application form, which can be found here.

WHEN WILL APPLICATIONS CLOSE?

The application form for OHLG and ARG will close at 17:00 on Monday 14th February.

DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE?

Applicants will need to provide their business rates number.  This is needed to confirm that the applicant is eligible to receive this funding.

Applicants will also need to upload a copy of their business bank statement.

HOW MUCH FUNDING WILL I RECEIVE?

The following thresholds apply. 

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list 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 hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6000

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE FUNDING?

Please allow 10 working days for us to process applications for OHLG and issue payment to eligible businesses.

Please allow 15 working days for us to process applications for ARG and issue payment to eligible businesses.

You will receive a confirmation of receipt of the form on completion. 

Please note, an application is only considered received when we have all necessary information, so please endeavour to have this to hand before you apply, as it will speed up the process for you. 

I AM NOT THE RATE PAYER, BUT I AM ONE OF THE BUSINESSES LISTED.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT?
Applicants in one of the eligible sectors that are not the ratepayer may receive funding under the Omicron ARG scheme.  See below for more information. 


2. OMICRON ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT GUIDANCE

HOW MUCH ARG FUNDING HAS WAKEFIELD COUNCIL RECIEVED?
Following the announcement that a further £102m would be made available to Local Authorities through an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) top-up, Wakefield Council received an additional £425,636 of ARG funding.

WHO IS THE OMICRON ARG SCHEME AIMED AT?

Based on the guidance provided by Government, the limited amount of funding available, and following consultation with colleagues across the West Yorkshire Region, Wakefield’s proposal is to align eligibility for the ARG scheme to those businesses outlined in the OHLG guidance.

The Council also recognise that businesses within the travel sector have been impacted by the Omicron variant, and as such propose to extend eligibility for OHLG ARG to these businesses as well.

WHO EXACTLY IS ELIGIBLE?

Hospitality, leisure, and accommodation businesses who do not have a business rates assessment (see below for full list of businesses)

Travel agents (those who are and those who are not Business Rate Payers)

LIST OF PRIORITY BUSINESSES UNDER THE ARG SCHEME;

Hospitality
Food courts, public houses/pub restaurants, Restaurants, Roadside restaurants, Wine bars & Cafés

Leisure
Casinos and gambling clubs, Cinemas Museums and art galleries S, 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.

Accommodation
Caravan parks Caravan sites and pitches, Chalet parks, Coaching inns, Country house hotels, Guest houses, Hostels, Hotels, Lodge, Holiday apartment, Cottages or bungalows, Campsites, Boarding houses, Canal boats or other vessels, B&Bs, Catered holiday homes & Holiday homes

Non- Essential Retail
Travel Agents

Other applicants that will be considered based on impact are: -
Tanning and nail salons, Hair and Beauty, Spas, Tattoo parlours, Gym and Sports Leisure centres, Swimming pools, Tennis and basketball courts, Golf courses, Fitness, and dance studios

Payment of these grants will be made on a ‘first come first served’ basis, subject to eligibility criteria being met due to the limited amount of funding received. Please note applications will not be considered as received until all supporting evidence has been provided.

DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE?
To receive the funding, applicants under this scheme must confirm that they have been severely impacted by Omicron. 

This includes confirmation that turnover for the business has been impacted with the increase of infection rates resulting from the Omicron variant from late November 2021.

Evidence in support of this downturn is required in support of any application through the OHLG ARG, for example evidence of cancelled bookings, reduced turnover, bank statements for the respective period (1st December 2021 - to date), including comparative bank statements for the period prior, for example October to November 2021. 

Business will also need to provide evidence of rental costs (see below).

Please note applications will not be considered as received until all supporting evidence has been provided.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Applicants wishing to be considered for funding under the ARG scheme are guided to use the OHLG application from here.

WHEN WILL APPLICATIONS CLOSE?

The application form for OHLG and ARG will close at 17:00 on Monday 14th February.

HOW MUCH WILL ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES RECEIVE?

The following thresholds will apply:

  • Businesses with fixed costs up to £15,000 per annum as of 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses with fixed costs greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000 per annum on 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses with fixed costs greater than £51,000 per annum as of 30 December 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

Please note, we consider fixed costs to include those associated with rental costs of premises.  Where a business occupies a property and is not the ratepayer, we will require evidence of the rental. 

Please note additional costs such as light and heating / insurance will not be considered as a fixed cost unless these are part of the single rental payment made.  Where a business does not occupy premises / has a rental cost of £0, other evidence such as liability insurance / business insurances will be considered. 

WHY IS MY BUISNESS NOT LISTED?

The guidance issued by Government for the ARG scheme outlines the businesses recommended for funding.  Given the limited amount of funding available under this scheme, Wakefield Council have taken the decision to align ARG funding closely with this guidance.

IS THERE ANY OTHER FUNDING AVAILABLE?

Currently, there is no other grant funding available to businesses, however, the Government have made available the Coronavirus recovery loan scheme to support businesses - Recovery Loan Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

WHO CAN I TALK TO?
We would encourage you to read the information above and keep checking back here and the Government website for more up to date information as this situation is constantly changing. 

Please allow the advised timescales above for grant applications to be processed and payment to be issued, if you still need to speak to a member of our team, please contact us on businesssupport@wakefield.gov.uk

Alternatively, contact the Customer Services Team here: 01924 306630.

Enquiry response timescales: We are receiving high volume enquires in relation to the Omicron Grant Schemes, our business support team are working hard to support businesses resolve issues - please allow up to 5 working days for a member of our business support team to get back to you in response to your enquiry.

OMICRON VARIANT BUSINESS GUIDANCE

Urgent work is ongoing internationally to fully understand the behaviour of this COVID-19 variant with regards to vaccines, treatments and transmissibility.

Whilst this work takes place, the Government has taken precautionary action to protect us all from the spread of this new variant. These are:

Face coverings are compulsory in shops and on public transport

Contacts of people who have tested positive for the Omicron variant must self isolate.

All international arrivals must to take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative test.

FACE COVERINGS

If you are a retail business you must ensure that your customers wear a face-covering (unless exempt) when visiting your premises.

You can download a face covering poster here

The new requirements apply to:

  • Shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or service for retail sale or hire, this includes shops in larger premises such as a gift shop within a museum).
  • Shopping centres (malls and indoor markets).
  • Auction houses.
  • Post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs etc.
  • Premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing studios).
  • Premises providing veterinary services.
  • Retail galleries.
  • Retail travel agencies.
  • Takeaways (without space for consumption of food or drink on premises as shops), aside from when eating and drinking.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses).
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles.
  • Transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals).

For further support about your business and the Omicron variant please contact info@wakefieldfirst.com

Please monitor the Councils Business Rates page here for further information

 

WHO CAN I TALK TO?

We would encourage you to read the information above, and keep checking back here and the Government website for more up to date information as this situation is constantly changing. If you still need to speak to a member of our team, please contact us on businesssupport@wakefield.gov.uk

Alternatively, contact one of our team directly here: 01924 306630.

Enquiry response timescales: We are receiving high volume enquires in relation to the Restart Grant, our business support team are working hard to support businesses resolve issues - please allow up to 5 working days for a member of our business support team to get back to you in response to your enquiry.