PRAYERS have been answered for businesses in Winchester as Winchester City Council gives the green light to launch a new Winter Support Payment Grant.

The grant offers support to businesses hit the hardest by the affects of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic, with the council urging businesses to make an application regardless of whether they have been accepted for previous grants.

The council has received additional government funding and combined this with the remaining grant fund and is to open the new grant scheme from Tuesday, January 11 2022. The deadline for submission of applications is 9am on Tuesday, January 25 2022. Based on the take up of previous grant programmes and dependent upon the volume of applications received, successful applicants could expect a grant payment in the region of £1,400.

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Businesses who were trading up to and including December 31 2021 and operate in the following sectors are eligible to apply:

• Non-essential retail

• Hospitality/food and drink/guest accommodation

• Leisure/sports

• Attractions/events/festivals/entertainment venues

• Performing and visual arts

• Pre-school childcare services

• Public sector (Parish councils only)

• Taxi and private hire drivers

The online application process is quick and easy with guidance to support those wishing to make an application. To find out more visit, contact or telephone on 01962 814915

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Cllr Martin Tod, cabinet member for economic recovery, said: “As soon as it became clear how local businesses were being affected – directly and indirectly - by the Omicron Covid variant, the city council prioritised fast tracking a revised grant programme to support them.

"Shortly afterwards, on December 21, the government announced a top up to the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant Fund which has enabled us to increase the grant value to eligible applicants.

"The fund will offer much-needed support to businesses that continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Since the outbreak, the city council has made over 9,000 grant payments to businesses across the district, distributing in excess of £50m grant funding.

"I’m really keen that we continue to help as many businesses as possible and this grant plays an important part in our work to help the district’s economy recover.”

Winchester City Council has also announced the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant aimed at those businesses who are in the business rates system.

Applications opened on Monday, January 10 2022 and closes on February 28 2022. To find out more visit

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