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PR: Businesses urged to apply for £850 million still available in COVID-19 support grants

Press release

£850 million worth of COVID-19 support grants are still available and firms in England have been encouraged to apply by Business Minister Paul Scully today (Thursday 10 February).

The funding has been made available by government to councils in England for them to provide to businesses in need in their local area. Businesses are encouraged to apply to their local council for the funding.

The funding is made up of £556 million available through the £635 million Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme, which launched in January 2022, and a further £294 million through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme which has been paying out funding since November 2020.

The OHLG scheme 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. To provide further support to other businesses, 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.

The government encourages councils to provide the funding to businesses as quickly as possible.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

We’re working to get our economy running on all cylinders again so we can focus on making the UK the best place in the world to work and do business, creating jobs along the way.

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.

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

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.

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