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What is the Restart Grant and how do I apply?

3-minute read

Sam Bromley

15 April 2021

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The Restart Grant is a one-off payment to certain businesses to help them reopen over the next few months as restrictions in England ease.

If you’re eligible, you don’t have to pay the money back – you could receive up to £18,000.

Update 15 July 2021: The Restart Grant closed for new applications on 30 June 2021. The government says that if you haven’t received your grant by 31 July 2021, get in touch with your local council.

What is the Restart Grant?

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What is the coronavirus Restart Grant?

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Restart Grant in his Budget announcement on 3 March 2021. It replaces previous government grants, like the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Businesses in these sectors are eligible for the Restart Grant:

  • non-essential retail
  • hospitality
  • leisure
  • personal care
  • accommodation

The grant is designed to help support these businesses as they reopen, because they’ll still be subject to restrictions. For example, pubs and restaurants can only open outside during the first stage of easing.

With that in mind, non-essential retail businesses are eligible for a smaller payment, because they aren’t as affected by restrictions. Non-essential businesses can claim up to £6,000.

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses can claim up to £18,000.

The amount of money you receive depends on your rateable value (as of 1 April 2021). Non-essential businesses can get:

  • £2,667 if your rateable value is £15,000 or under
  • £4,000 if your rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £6,000 if your rateable value is more than £51,000

The other eligible businesses can get:

  • £8,000 if your rateable value is £15,000 or under
  • £12,000 if your rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £18,000 if your rateable value is more than £51,000

Am I eligible for the small business Restart Grant?

It’s up to your local authority to assess whether you’re eligible for the Restart Grant. But generally, you need to be a business in one of the above sectors, offering in-person services primarily and trading on 1 April 2021 (trading could mean for instance that you had staff on furlough, were operating online, or were preparing to reopen).

Some businesses could fall under both non-essential and another category, like hospitality. In that case, you declare which category makes up 50 per cent or more of your overall activity. Your local authority needs to take ‘reasonable judgement’ when working out your eligibility and the level of grant you should receive.

Other eligibility for the Restart Grant can be broken down by sector:

  • non-essential – a business that provides retail services that aren’t necessary to the health and wellbeing of the public, and was likely to have had to stop or restrict those services during lockdown
  • hospitality – a business that provides in-person food and drink to be consumed on the premises, whether that’s inside or outside
  • leisure – a business that provides ‘opportunities, experiences and facilities’, particularly for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events, and days and nights out
  • accommodation – a business that provides accommodation for holiday, travel and other purposes
  • gym and sports – a business that provides in-person sport and exercise facilities to the public
  • personal care – a business that provides personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing services or treatments to the public

Three subsidy allowances also cover this scheme, which means you can’t have exceeded your total permitted allowance. You get:

  • up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of three years under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance
  • up to £1,600,000 under the Covid-19 Business Grant Allowance
  • up to £9,000,000 under the Covid-19 Business Grant Special Allowance, if you’ve met the limits under the other two allowances and you meet special conditions

How do I apply for the Restart Grant?

Local authorities are paying out Restart Grants to eligible businesses. In some situations this will be automatic, so you won’t need to do anything.

But if you think you’re eligible and you haven’t received a payment, it’s best to visit your local authority’s website for more information.

The government set a hard deadline for some of the grants available in 2020, including the Discretionary Grant Fund, after which the funds were returned to the Treasury.

So if you think you’re eligible for the Restart Grant, it’s best to get in touch with your council sooner rather than later.

What do you think about the coronavirus Restart Grant? Let us know in the comments below.

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