West Devon hospitality and leisure businesses impacted by the latest Omicron Covid-19 wave can now apply for financial support.

In December, the Government announced a one-off grant payment for hospitality and leisure businesses including restaurants and pubs. It is worth up to £6,000 and is designed to help those who have struggled in what should have been the most profitable time of the year.

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is being administered by West Devon Borough Council.

The council has now directly contacted local businesses by email, which, based on previous grant applications, might be eligible for this financial help.

The council is urging local hospitality and leisure businesses that meet the criteria set out below to check their email and junk mail folders and follow the instructions to claim the government grant.

Who is eligible?

Eligible businesses must appear on the business rates ratings list on December 30 2021 in order to qualify.

The grant is a one-off payment to business rated businesses that fall into the following sectors:

Hospitality — including (but not limited to) pubs, restaurants (excluding takeaways), cafés etc.

Leisure — including (but not limited to) tourist attractions, event venues, museums, galleries, theatres etc. Gyms, personal care, and retail businesses are not included.

Accommodation — including (but not limited to) holiday parks, hotels, campsites etc.

How much is the grant award?

Payment is based on the rateable value (RV) for each eligible business premises as follows:

Rateable Value on December 30 2021

Exactly £15k or below: £2,667

Over £15k and less than £51k: £4,000

Exactly £51K or over: £6,000

Cllr Neil Jory, leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: ‘We know that our local hospitality and leisure businesses were counting on a busy trading period in the run-up to Christmas after what has been a year of ups and downs.

‘Unfortunately, the Omicron variant threw up more challenges, like cancelled bookings, which have hit many of our businesses hard.

‘Our business grants team has worked swiftly to set up the processes we need in place to get the money to the right businesses as quickly as possible.

‘We have contacted eligible businesses directly by email with instructions and links to apply for this grant. The email will list everything you will need to tell us for your application. Please read it carefully and in full before completing your application. Giving us correct information allows us to process and pay applications much faster.

‘If you think you are eligible but have not yet heard from us, please double check our eligibility criteria on our website www.westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business. If you still believe you are eligible, please contact us via the website page.

‘I hope this positive start to 2022 will help our local businesses to push forward and thrive this year.’

The council is urging businesses to contact them via their website www.westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business if you think your business is eligible but you have not previously applied for any Covid-19 business support grants from the council or you think the council may have the wrong contact details for your business (based on previous grant applications).

The deadline for applications to be received is February 28 2022. This deadline has been set by the Government and the council is unable to accept any applications after this date.

All grant payments will be made by March 31 2022 and as soon as possible after a completed application form has been received and all national fraud checks have been completed, in accordance with the Government guidance.