Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme (OHLG)

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

One-off grants of up to £6000 will be paid to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme is open for applications under 28 February 2022.

Eligibility criteria

The OHLG scheme is for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) ratings list only.

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public
  • Businesses that provide food and or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business should excluse food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% income or more) is a takeaway.

Eligible hospitality businesses:

Food courts, public houses, pubs and restaurants, roadside restaurants, wine bars and cafes.

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreatikon, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out:

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities
  • Business that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude all retail businesses, coach tour operators, and tour operators.

Eligible leisure businesses:

Casinos and gambling clubs, cinemas, museums and art galleries, stately homes and historic houses, theatres, zoos and safari parks, amusement parks, wedding venues, events venues, nightclubs and discos, arenas, concert halls, tourist attractions, theme parks, amusement arcades, soft play centres or areas, indoor riding centres, clubs and institutions, village halls and scout huts, cadet huts, etc.

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes:

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for 'away from home' stays for work or leisure purposes
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should exclude private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

Eligible accommodation businesses:

Caravan parks, caravan sites and pitches, chalet parks, coaching inns, country house hotels, guest houses, hostels, hotels, lodges, holiday apartments cottages or bungalows, campsites, boarding houses, canal boats or other vessels, B&Bs, catered holiday homes, holiday homes.

General eligbility

Businesses must have been trading on 21 December 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. For the purposes of this grant scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice or under notice. To help further, some trading indicators are included below that can help assess what can be defined as trading for the purposes of the grant schemes. Indicators that a business is trading are:

  • The business continues to trade, including online, via delivery services etc.
  • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice or under notice
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing covid-safe measures

Exclusions to Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding

  • Businesses that are not within the ratings scheme will not be eligible to receive funding under this scheme
  • Business that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum subsidy allowances
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • The definition of a hospitality business excludes food kiosks and business whose main service (generating 50% income or more) is a takeaway
  • The definition of a leisure business excludes all retail businesses, coach tour operators and tour operators
  • The definition of an accommodation business excluses private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

The OHLG scheme is for businesses on the VOA ratings list only. Where a grant is issued, the business that according to the billing authority's records was the ratepayer in respect of the hereditament on 30 December 2021 is eligible to receive the grant.

  • 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 of 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 £6,000

Will grants to subject to tax?

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The OHLG will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2022 will fall into the 2021/22 tax ydear. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

Managing the risk of fraud and payments in error

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered, as may any grants paid in error.

Covid-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowance

Data protection/sharing

The Council is required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administrating public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud. Further information can be found on our data protection policy and guidance page.

Data may be shared with the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). View the BEIS privacy notice.

How to apply

Eligible ratepayers will be contacted by the Council. We will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that your business meets all the eligibility criteria and that by accepting these grants it will not exceed the relevant Subsidy Allowance threshold.

The closing date for applications is 28 February 2022.

Please read the eligibility criteria before completing the declaration form.

If you have any problems completing the form, or for further help or advice please email covid19businessgrants@eastcambs.gov.uk or telephone 01353 665555.