In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced various available funding schemes for Councils.
This funding was to assist in economic recovery, support business growth post-pandemic, and to support hospitality and leisure businesses in their local economy.
On 3 March 2021, the Government announced that £425 million would be made available for Local Authorities, through a conditional top-up to the Additional Restrictions (ARG) Grant from 1 April 2021. On 21 December 2021, the Government announced that a further £102 million would be made available for Local Authorities, through a top-up to the ARG funding.
The Omicron Leisure and Hospitality grant was announced by the Government on 21 December 2021, introducing grant support for hospitality and leisure businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 Omicron variant in England.
Broxbourne Council has awarded a total of £1,425,090 to businesses within the Borough of Broxbourne, from the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant, and the Broxbourne Build Back Better Grant Fund from ARG funding. 157 businesses applying for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant and 275 businesses applying for the ARG grant received funding.
One recipient of the grant, Tolga Aramaz, Director at Learn Trade Skills in Broxbourne, said:
“I just wanted to thank you and the team for the support you showed us in our application for the Build Back Better grant. We are very delighted to be awarded it and hope our fruitful relationship with the council and the residents of Broxbourne continue. By receiving this grant, there will certainly be a direct benefit to the economy as we carry on training people for trade skills.”
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme supported businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed, business rate-paying premises. Businesses were eligible to receive the grant if its main service (50% or more of overall income) falls within hospitality, leisure or accommodation.
The Broxbourne Build Back Better Grant Fund from ARG funding supported businesses operating in the Borough that showed ambitious plans to grow and create new jobs. The scheme welcomed applications from sole traders, partnerships, micro, small and medium businesses (SMEs) from any industry and sector. This ranged from start-ups to established local companies looking to expand in the area. The grant was a one-off payment of up to £25,000, dependant on applications and eligibility. Priority was given to the events, leisure, tourism and hospitality sectors, but remained open to all who applied.
Lefti Christodoulou, Sales Director and Founder at Icely Done in Hoddesdon, said:
“The Build Back Better grant will be a huge help to us as we push for growth this year - and in doing so, I am sure we’ll be able to employ more people from the Borough – and make a great contribution to the local economy.”
The grants process has created the opportunity for the Council to establish relationships with local businesses, whilst assisting on the growth journey of the local economy post-pandemic.
A thriving economy is one of the Council’s corporate priorities, and supporting local businesses and High Streets has been a focus for the Council throughout the pandemic.