01:33PM, Thursday 27 January 2022
The Royal Borough council is inviting eligible businesses hit hardest by Omicron to apply for another coronavirus support grant.
The scheme – funded by central Government – is distributed to local authorities across the country who decide where the money should go in their areas.
The Additional Restrictions Grant aims to support firms who have been hit hard by the latest variant outbreak, and who are not entitled to the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
The council is offering one-off grants on a first-come-first-served basis, of either £2,667, £4,000 or £6,000, depending on the rateable value of trading premises.
Businesses which can apply include personal care, wedding industries, travel agents, tour operators, the supply chain to the hospitality industry, and educational establishments.
Under the eligibility criteria, firms must have been registered to pay business rates on Thursday, December 30; prove they were trading from the premises immediately before that date, and show that they have been severely impacted by Omicron.
In addition, businesses must be excluded from applying for the Hospitality and Leisure Grant and cannot already have received funding from the ARG Innovation Grant scheme.
Council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams) said: “This welcome top-up to the Additional Restrictions Grant is for eligible businesses that were severely impacted by the Omicron variant but were not entitled under the national criteria to the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
“We’re pleased to have received these further Government funds to help those businesses and we’ve shaped our scheme criteria in line with national guidance to help as many businesses as possible within the limited funds available.
"The levels of grant available reflect those of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
"If you think you’re eligible, please read the criteria and exclusions carefully and make sure you submit an early and complete application to stand the best chance of securing some of these limited funds.”
Applications must be made by Thursday, March 31. To see full eligibility criteria, check exemptions and apply, visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/covid-business-grants
A cross-party coalition of 28 councillors from three different factions has been formed at Wokingham Borough Council.