£850 million still available for businesses in Covid-19 support grants

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£850 million worth of Covid-19 support grants are still available, Business Minister Paul Scully today revealed, encouraging firms to apply to their local council for the funding.

The funding has been made available by government to councils in England for them to provide to businesses in need in their local area.

The funding is made up of £556m available through the £635m Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme, and a further £294m through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme which has been paying out funding since November 2020.

The OHLG scheme, which launched in January this year, provides businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors with one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premise, supporting those that had been most impacted by the Omicron variant.

The ARG scheme provides councils with funding they can allocate at their discretion to businesses most in need, such as personal care businesses and supply firms.

“Eligible businesses should apply as soon as possible for the grants available to help them put the pandemic behind them and get on a sounder footing to achieve success,” Scully said.

The government has provided support worth around £400 billion to businesses throughout the pandemic, including VAT cuts, business rates holidays and government-backed loans.

The £22 billion of grant support to businesses during the pandemic is made up of several support schemes including for small businesses and local restrictions support.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to those local authorities who have more than 5 per cent left over from previous ARG funding rounds, instructing them to disburse any remaining funding. Scully has also urged local councils to get the grants to business as soon as possible.