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Omicron Hardship Grant Launched

Small businesses struggling because of the coronavirus Omicron variant are being urged to come forward and claim financial support.

One-off grants of up to £2,000 may be available to businesses in the borough that can demonstrate that they have been significantly impacted by Omicron.

South Tyneside Council has already distributed more than £52 million in government grants and has received an Additional Restrictions Grant top-up allocation of £144,988 to fund this scheme.

Due to the limited amount of funding, grants will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to eligible firms, which must have been trading on 30 December 2021.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "Since the start of the pandemic, we have distributed over £50m in direct grants to businesses, supporting them through some of the most challenging circumstances.

"The Omicron variant is the latest in a series of blows to hit struggling businesses, some of which were already on their knees. This hardship grant is available to any sector, provided they meet the eligibility criteria, but as it is very limited it will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

"These grants are intended to provide swift help to support cash flow and protect livelihoods. We hope it will provide a much-needed boost to those businesses who are successful."

Earlier this month, the Council's allocation of £144,988 for the Additional Restrictions Grant was confirmed. The application process will be live from 10am on Monday 23 January. For details of eligibility criteria, and to apply, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/omicronhardshipgrant

A further £978,00 for the Omicron Leisure and Tourism grant was confirmed. Businesses eligible for this fund have been contacted directly with details of how to apply, however anyone who believes they been missed should email businesss@southtyneside.gov.uk. Businesses entitled to this grant will not be able to claim the ARG grant.