The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant funding will be handed out to eligible businesses across the Shropshire Council area, after opening on Friday.
The £5.8 million scheme offers a fresh boost for some of the hardest hit firms in the county with fears over Omicron seeing businesses hit by falling trade.
Shropshire Council, which is running the scheme, said fresh applications will be needed from all eligible businesses, with guidance on how to complete the process available on its website.
A further round of the discretionary grant scheme worth more than £600,000 will also be launched later in the month.
Councillor Ed Potter, the council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said: "Hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses have been hard hit throughout the pandemic and especially once again since the Omicron variant has become prominent.
"We are delighted to have opened the application process and will be working hard to process each application as quickly as possible – with money hitting accounts no later than the end of March.
"The discretionary scheme, the fourth to be processed by Shropshire Council will also be of huge benefit to a range of businesses that do not qualify for a Hospitality and Leisure grant, but it should be stated that funding is limited."
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants will be handed out on a tiered system based on a business' rateable value.
Businesses that provide sports and physical exercise facilities and those offering personal care, such as hairdressers, are excluded from the scheme by Government
To qualify the business must be trading and on the rating list as of December 30, 2021.
Applications will need to be made by February 28.