Support grants for businesses

On 21 December 2021, the government announced additional economic support to help businesses that are experiencing difficulties because of the Omicron variant, and the dual impact of staff absences and lower consumer demand. This support is in the form of a business rates relief package plus two further business grant funds. All of these support packages are subject to current subsidy allowance thresholds.

Businesses seeking further information on coronavirus financial support should refer to the government’s business support website.

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) 

The government has published guidance on the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF), which was initially announced in March 2021. The CARF is aimed at providing business rates relief to specific business sectors who have been affected by the pandemic but yet to receive any form of business rates relief. More information about this additional business rates support package is on our reliefs and discounts page. 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Top Up

This is a third top up of £102 million to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme for local authorities to continue providing discretionary support to those businesses severely impacted by the coronavirus restrictions and the rise of the Omicron variant, when most needed. This scheme has now closed as the government deadline has passed.

Free cyber training and grants

Using funds from previous ARG top up grants, we have supported local businesses which trade online with free training and grants to enhance their cyber security. This innovative scheme in partnership with HOST helped freelancers, SMEs and home based businesses. This scheme has now closed due to being oversubscribed. However, you can find out more about the support offered by HOST

Omicron Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation Grant (OHLG)

This one-off grant is for business ratepayers in the hospitality, leisure, and accommodation sectors. These businesses predominantly provide in-person services to customers within the hospitality, leisure or accommodation sectors whereby:

  • Hospitality is a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.
  • Leisure is a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, days and nights out, betting and gaming.
  • Accommodation is a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

Further information about what types of businesses are considered to be part of these sectors is detailed on our Omicron Hospitality, Leisure and Accommodation Grant eligible business sectors page. The amount paid will be based on the rateable value of business premises, and are subject to compliance with UK Subsidy Allowance thresholds. This grant scheme has now closed and all payments made in line with government guidance.

Business grant payment amounts are as follows:

Rateable value of business premises

One-off grant amount

Up to £15,000


Over £15,000 and less than £51,000


More than £51,000


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