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Discretionary Omicron fund launches to support Oldham businesses

Councillor Shoab Akhtar.

Oldham Council has opened the Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant to support more businesses impacted by the variant. 

The discretionary scheme will help eligible businesses with one-off grants of up to £6,000. 

Due to limited funding available, the grants will open in phases to help those sectors most impacted by the virus. 

Phases one and two are open now until Friday 11 February. You must apply before the closing date if you think your business is eligible.

The following businesses can apply: 

  • Businesses in leisure, hospitality and visitor accommodation sectors that operate from commercial premises but are not liable for business rates. 
  • Travel agents, coach operators, group travel operators, event companies, wholesalers whose main activity are suppliers to the hospitality sector, caterers and breweries that operate from commercial premises. 

If funding is still available, the council says it will then open phase three applications from 14 February to 25 February for: 

  • Wedding industries, English language schools, personal care and gyms operating from commercial premises. 

If funding is still available, the authority will then open phase four applications from 28 February to 4 March for: 

  • All of the above sectors but whose businesses are mobile or home-based. 

The following grants are available: 

  • Businesses operating from commercial premises who are not liable for business rates - one-off grant of £2,667. 
  • Businesses operating from commercial premises liable for business rates – one-off grant of £2,667, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on rateable value.
  • Mobile or home-based businesses – one-off grant of £1,000. 

More information and a full list of eligible businesses can be found at www.oldham.gov.uk/arg where you can also apply. 

Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Employment and Enterprise, said: “The council has received only £305,000 from Government for this scheme, which is why we have put together a phased approach in distributing the grants. 

“We’re starting with leisure, hospitality and accommodation businesses who can’t receive the mandatory Omicron Leisure and Hospitality Grant because they aren’t liable for business rates. We’ll also accept applications from other hospitality-related suppliers and certain travel-based businesses, whose sectors have also been hard hit. 

“We will confirm if we have enough funding still available to progress to each next phase, and if you think you could be eligible, please apply as soon as possible. Due to the limited funding, we will process grants on a first come, first served basis. 

“We will make payments as quickly as possible and are committed to supporting as many businesses as we can.” 

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