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Tourism Business Omicron Support Fund

Wed 16 Mar 22

In January 2022, funding of up to £9 million for tourism was announced by the Scottish Government to mitigate the impact of public health measures introduced to limit the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. The money was designed to recognise the economic impact of the steps people were asked to take and the loss of revenue specifically between 8 December 2021 and 21 January 2022.

Grants were administered as top-up payments of £6,800 to businesses in six sectors which had previously received VisitScotland funding and were most severely impacted by Omicron.  

Following feedback from industry sectors and recognising a funding gap for a small number of tourism businesses in these six sectors, the Omicron Business Support Fund has been established to support those who have missed out on former 2021 funding. 

About the Fund

The Omicron Business Support Fund is being delivered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

The Fund has been designed to support businesses which were not eligible to receive any previous COVID-19 recovery funding through the six original funds. It will be open to businesses operating in the respective sectors:

  • Coach operators 
  • Day tour operators
  • Hostels
  • Inbound tour operators
  • Marine / outdoor
  • Visitor attraction

These are the sectors which, following discussion with STERG (Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group), sector leads and the Scottish Government, were agreed to have been the most severely impacted by Omicron.  

Businesses in these sectors may be able to apply for the new payments, worth up to £6,800 each, if they did not receive previous funding in 2021 because they:  

  • Were not established or trading until after 2019/2020;   

  • Were unable to provide the financial evidence required, for example, due to being a new business and unable to provide published accounts for the required time period;  

  • Had a change in ownership;  

  • Were temporarily closed due to renovations, improvements, development. 

Businesses will have to show that they were open between 8 December 2021 and 21 January 2022 and were impacted directly as a result of the COVID-19 Omicron restrictions during this period. 

The application process

Applications will be open from 12pm Wednesday 23 March 2022 to 5pm on Wednesday 30 March 2022. Any applications received after this period will not be considered. Applications will not be assessed on a first come, first served basis.  

Please view the fund guidance document for eligibility criteria and submission instructions before completing the application form. 

Read the full guidance document

As part of the process, VisitScotland will contact the applicant.  

If your application is rejected, you can appeal this decision as set out within the rejection email. Any appeals should be submitted in writing to [email protected] together with a justification for the appeal. 

Questions about the Fund

If you have any queries about the Omicron Business Support Fund, please contact [email protected]

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