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Additional £1.9m funding to support small and micro businesses affected by Omicron

Further £1.9m support secured for Omicron-affected small businesses in the Liverpool City Region.

Having already successfully distributed more than £44m in emergency funding to more than 4000 businesses across the city region, the Liverpool City Region has secured a further £1.9m to support local businesses affected by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, in particular those in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

The original £44m from the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant scheme was secured by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, following negotiations with government when the city region was first put into Tier Three restrictions in October 2020.

Taken together with the £8.1m Trading On Scheme currently being distributed by the city region’s six local authorities to small and medium-sized businesses, this additional funding takes the total secured by the city region from the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grants to £54 million.

In a joint statement, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Cllr Mike Wharton, Leader, Halton Borough Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader, Knowsley Borough Council, Mayor Joanne Anderson, Liverpool City Council, Cllr Ian Maher, Leader, Sefton Borough Council, Cllr David Baines, Leader, St. Helens Borough Council and Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader, Wirral Borough Council said:

“Throughout the past 18 months, we have worked together to project our region from the biggest challenge it has faced since the war. That collaboration, creativity and hard work resulted in millions of pounds of support that helped sustain thousands of businesses in all parts of our region through the worst of the pandemic.

“This latest funding means we will have distributed around £54m was to more than 4,000 businesses, saving many more thousands of jobs and livelihoods in the process. We start our recovery from a much stronger position as a result.

“That recovery is already well underway and received a massive boost last May, with the launch of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s £150m COVID Recovery Fund, which has allowed our region to get a headstart on the rest of the country.

“Today, we’re launching another £1.9m of additional funding to support businesses affected by the Omicron variant who cannot access the main Government support scheme. We know it won’t go far enough but we are fighting tooth and nail for every penny to support local businesses and retain local jobs.  Together, we are making sure that the Liverpool City Region has the fastest and strongest recovery possible, with no one left behind.”

In addition to the national Omicron Leisure and Hospitality Grant, administered by local authorities for businesses in commercial premises who have been impacted by Omicron, the Liverpool City Region has been awarded £1.87m from the Government’s additional £102m for local authorities in England. This funding is intended to support small and micro businesses outside the business rates system, that have been seriously affected by Omicron, in particular those in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.  Grants will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis.

One-off grants of £1,000 are available for home-based businesses and £3,000 for businesses with commercial premises.

For more information on the individual schemes, including eligibility and how to apply, businesses should visit their local council website.  Applications will open at 10am on Monday, 24 January, 2022.

The following businesses will be eligible.   This is based on the government guidance as part of the scheme.

  • Accommodation (not Airbnb)
  • Breweries
  • Caterers and catering suppliers/equipment
  • English language schools
  • Entertainment industries e.g., self-employed musicians, promoters, artist agents/management companies
  • Events industries e.g., marquee, sound & lighting, security company, event entertainment agency, event planner/management, event photographer, event/hospitality staffing agency
  • Freelance and mobile businesses, e.g., caterers, events, hair, beauty
  • Gyms
  • Hospitality businesses
  • Leisure businesses
  • Nightclubs
  • Personal care
  • The travel and tourism sector e.g., group travel, travel agents and tour operators/facilitators, coach operators, limousine hire
  • Theatres
  • Wedding related businesses
  • Wholesalers
  • Those in the supply chains of the Hospitality and Leisure sectors

Businesses who are directly eligible for the Omicron Leisure and Hospitality Grant will not be eligible for further support.

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