In this section
Omicron Home Business Support Grant
The Omicron Home Business Support Grant application window closed at midnight 28 February 2022.
Please allow us up to 14 days to deal with all applications.
The Omicron Home Business Support Grant (OHBSG) supports small businesses operating from a Watford residential address in specific sectors that have been severely impacted by the Omicron variant but are not eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).
These businesses may be eligible for discretionary financial support through the OHBSG scheme, which is funded through the Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant allocation, if they operate within the sectors identified below, meet the required eligibility criteria and can show the impact of the Omicron variant on their business.
Before applying, please consider whether you are eligible for an Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG).
Which businesses will benefit?
The following home based, freelance and mobile businesses may be eligible:
- Businesses in the close contact sector, e.g. mobile hairdressers.
- Businesses in the travel, tourism and events sectors, including caterers, wedding related businesses, travel agents, creative sector workers.
- Businesses which supply the hospitality, and leisure sectors, and trade over 50% of their turnover in these sectors.
- Taxi drivers.
If your business operates in these sectors but does so from commercial premises then you may be eligible for an Omicron Business Support Grant (OBSG) instead.
Businesses who meet these criteria will need to show they:
- Were trading on 30 December 2021 and continue to trade today.
- Are run from a residential address in the Watford Borough Council administrative area.
- Have experienced a fall in income as a result the impact of the Omicron variant.
- Have fixed, non-salary related, business costs.
- Derived income of more than £7,500 annually (pro rata if a business has been trading for less than 12 months) from the business prior to the impact of Omicron variant.
- Taxi drivers must hold a valid Watford Borough Council licence.
How much will you receive?
For businesses that fully meet the eligibility criteria, grants will be paid out as follows:
- A one-off payment of up to £500.
Your business will not be eligible if it:
- Has received an Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant or Omicron Business Support Grant.
- Is in administration, insolvent, has been struck off the Companies House register, or is subject to a striking-off notice or under notice.
- Has exceeded the permitted subsidy allowance.
This scheme is covered by three possible subsidy allowances:
- Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) in Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over any rolling period of 3 financial years.
- COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – under this allowance you’re allowed up to £1,900,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes.
- COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £10,000,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes.
Grants under these three allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £12,235,000 (subject to exchange rates).
Applications were assessed throughout the application window but grant payments will not be made until after the application close date. If the grant is oversubscribed individual grant payments will be reduced from the figure quoted above in order to support all eligible applications.
Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.
Grant income received by a business is taxable. The OHLG will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.
If you have any questions, please email our Business Grants team.
Please include the name of your business, business postcode, business rates account number and your grant application reference number (if you have one) in your email as this will help us to respond to your question faster.
There are further grant and business support programmes available from Watford Borough Council and its partners to support Watford businesses. Find out more about the programmes available on the Watford Business website.
Sign up to our business e-newsletter for regular updates, including the latest grant information.