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Restart Grant scheme

On 3 March 2021, central government announced the introduction of grant support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.

This support will take the form of a one-off grant funding scheme in financial year 2021-2022. The scheme is called the Restart Grant.

Businesses will be eligible for this support from 1 April 2021 and local authorities must not make payments to businesses before this date. Subject to subsidy allowance conditions, businesses will be entitled to receive a grant for each eligible hereditament.

Businesses that have received Local Restrictions Support Grant to date will receive these payments automatically in April and they need not reapply. This scheme replaces the Local Restriction Support Grant which ends on 31 March 2021.

The Restart Grant scheme closes on 30 June 2021.

By accepting the grant payment, you are confirming that you are eligible for the grant scheme. The government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

What grants will be paid and to which businesses?

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail business premises, to help them reopen safely.

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses that are predominantly reliant on delivering in-person services for the general public in the aforementioned sectors. The Restart Grant will support non-essential retail premises with one-off grants of up to £6,000 in Strand One of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

Grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises, which may open later under plans set out in the roadmap and will be more impacted by restrictions when they do reopen.

The Restart Grant will also support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £8,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £12,000.
  • Businesses occupying hereditaments appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £18,000.

Businesses must have been trading on 1 April 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. What can be defined as trading for the purposes of the grant schemes. Indicators that a business is trading are:

  • The business has staff on furlough
  • The business continues to trade online, via click and collect services etc.
  • The business is not in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking of notice or under notice
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme. This list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under this scheme.

Support type

Types of businesses

Non-essential retail (up to £6k)

Betting offices, departmental stores, markets (other than livestock), sales kiosks, showrooms, e.g. kitchen, bathroom, tile, glazing, tobacco and vape stores, antiques stores, sales offices, travel agents, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, clothes shops, book shops, auction rooms, car auction, car showrooms, car supermarkets, car washes (standalone), car/caravan, sales/display/hiring sites, charity shops, carpet stores, furniture shops, sofa shops, homeware shops, florists, plant nurseries, jewellers, stationery shops, gift shops, make-up shops, animal groomers, sweet shops, photography studios.

Hospitality (up to £18k)

Food courts, public houses/pub restaurants, roadside restaurants, wine bars, cafes.

Leisure (up to £18k)

Bingo halls, bowling alleys, casinos and gambling clubs, cinemas, ice rinks, museums and art galleries, roller skating rings, stately homes & historic houses, theatres, zoos & safari parks, amusement parks, pleasure piers, pavilions, conference centres, exhibition centres including for use as banquet halls and other events, wedding venues, events venues, heritage railways, public halls, night clubs & discotheques, hostess bars, sexual entertainment venues, shisha bars, waterpipe consumption, venues, arenas, concert halls, go kart rinks, model villages, tourist attractions, aquaria, miniature railways, theme park, amusement arcades including adult gaming centres, animal attractions at farms, wildlife centres, botanical gardens, circus, visitor attractions at film studios, soft play centres or areas, indoor riding centres, clubs & institutions, village halls & scout huts, cadet huts etc.

Accommodation (up to £18k)

Caravan parks, caravan sites and pitches, chalet parks, coaching inns, country house hotels, guest & boarding houses, hostels, hotels, lodges, holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows, campsites, boarding houses, canal boats or other vessels, B&Bs, catered holiday homes, holiday home.

Personal care (up to £18k)

Spas, sauna and steam rooms, hairdressing salons, tanning salons, nail salons, massage centres, massage treatments, tattoo and piercing studios, holistic therapy (reflexology, massage, acupuncture), barbers, groomers, beauty salons, beauticians, aesthetics, other non-surgical treatments.

Gyms & sport (up to £18k)

Dance schools and centres, dance studios, gymnasia/fitness suites, cricket centres, ski centres, sports and leisure centres, outdoor sports centres, outdoor adventure centres, squash courts, tennis centres, sports courts, swimming pools, shooting and archery venues, driving ranges, water sport centres, golf courses.

 

Which businesses are not eligible?

Excluded businesses include those that are not in the rating system, long-term empty or undergoing major works on 1 April 2021, and those that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances.

Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme. Other businesses not eligible are listed below, please note the lists are not exhaustive:

 

Types of businesses

Retail

Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops, off licences, breweries, pharmacies, chemists, newsagents, animal rescue centres and boarding facilities, building merchants, petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, education providers including tutoring services, banks, building societies and other financial providers, post offices, funeral directors, laundrettes and dry cleaners, medical practices, veterinary surgeries and pet shops, agricultural supply shops, garden centres, storage and distribution facilities, wholesalers, employment agencies and businesses, office buildings, automatic car washes and mobility support shops.

Hospitality

Food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Leisure

All retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.

Accommodation

Private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts.

Gym and Sports

Home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

Personal Care

Businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services; businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others; businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health.

 

How can I apply for the Restart Grant scheme?

Businesses that have received Local Restrictions Support Grant to date will receive these payments automatically in April and they need not reapply. This scheme replaces the Local Restriction Support Grant which ends on 31 March 2021.

The Restart Grant scheme closes on 30 June 2021.

Update to COVID-19 business grant subsidy allowance

On Thursday 4 March new subsidy allowances were established for the COVID-19 business grants schemes.

Subsidy Allowance

Amount and conditions

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Grants may be paid in accordance with Article 3.2(4) of the Trade and Corporation Agreement (TCA), which enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum level of subsidy without engaging Chapter 3 of the TCA. This allowance is 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, to a single economic actor over any period of three fiscal years, which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021. An applicant may elect not to receive grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and instead receive grants only using the below allowances available under this scheme.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency). For the purposes of these scheme rules, this allowance is £1,600,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any state aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission's Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The Special Allowance covers only the applicant's uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period ('eligible period');
  • Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant's profit and loss;
  • 'Uncovered fixed costs' means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;
  • The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant's uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs;
  • Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £9,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission's Temporary Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;
  • Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

An applicant must be able to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate it is eligible for funding under this COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance.

 

Grants provided in excess of the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance may not be granted to applicants that were defined as an 'undertaking in difficulty' on 31 December 2019.

In derogation to the above, grants can be granted to micro or small enterprises (as defined above) that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019 provided that they are not subject to collective insolvency proceedings.

'Undertaking in difficulty' means an undertaking in respect of which at least one of the following circumstances occurs:

  • In the case of a limited liability company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years) where more than half of its subscribed share capital has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses. This is the case when deduction of accumulated losses from reserves (and all other elements generally considered as part of the own funds of the company) leads to a negative cumulative amount that exceeds half of the subscribed share capital. For the purposes of this provision, 'share capital' includes, where relevant, any share premium.
  • In the case of a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years) where more than half of its capital as shown in the company accounts has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses.
  • Where the undertaking is subject to collective insolvency proceedings or fulfils the criteria for being placed in collective insolvency proceedings at the request of its creditors.
  • Where the undertaking has received rescue aid and has not yet reimbursed the loan or terminated the guarantee or has received restructuring aid and is still subject to a restructuring plan.
  • In the case of an undertaking that is not an SME, where, for the past two years: (1) the undertaking's book debt to equity ratio has been greater than 7.5 and (2) the undertaking's EBITDA interest coverage ratio has been below 1.0.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy  will be given access to the data you provide, and store and process it securely for monitoring and evaluation purposes only.

This includes, but is not limited to, follow up evaluation surveys relating to the business support grant schemes.

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