Does your business need financial help to reopen because of coronavirus? You could be eligible to receive up to £18,000 from the UK Government’s Restart Grant scheme. Read on to find out what this is, who’s eligible and how to apply.
What is the Restart Grant in the UK?
The Restart Grant is a grant scheme that was announced by the UK government in March 2021 to support the recovery of the high street and help businesses reopen following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
There are two strands of the Restart Grant that businesses could be eligible for:
- Non-essential businesses can apply for a grant of up to £6,000.
- Businesses in hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation can apply for a grant of up to £18,000.
The difference between the amounts is due to those in hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation potentially having to open later under the roadmap plans, meaning they may be more impacted by restrictions once open.
Who is eligible for the Restart Grant?
If – as of April 1st 2021 – your business fell under one of the above sectors, operated mainly in-person and was trading, you should be eligible. Trading could mean that your business:
- Had staff on furlough
- Continued trading online
- Engaged in business activity, such as preparing accounts, getting ready to reopen or planning Covid-19 measures
The Restart Grant eligibility can also be broken down by sector:
- Non-essential businesses – those that offer products or services that were not essential to the health and wellbeing of the public and had to close or had restricted services due to the January 2021 lockdown.
- Hospitality businesses – those offering in-person food and drink services including those that provide them on-premises.
- Leisure businesses – those that provide opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.
- Accommodation businesses – those that provide accommodation for holiday, travel and other purposes, such as away-from-home stays for work or leisure purposes.
- Gym and sports facilities – those that provide in-person physical activity or training services to the public in an individual or group setting.
- Personal care – those that provide personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and wellbeing services, treatments or activities.
The Restart Grant scheme is also covered by three subsidy allowances:
- Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – subject to exchange rates, this grants you up to £335,000) over three years
- COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – this grants you up to £1,600,000
- COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits for the above two allowances, you may be able to access a further allowance of up to £9,000,000
You are not eligible if:
- Your business is not in liquidation, dissolved or has been struck off by Companies House
- You have exceeded your allowance using the other schemes
How is funding provided?
The Restart Grant is a one-off payment that can only be issued between the 2021-2022 financial year.
How much your business receives is based on its rateable value as of 1st April 2021.
For non-essential businesses, this means:
- If your rateable value is £15,000 or under, you will receive £2,667
- If your rateable value is over £15,000 or less than £51,000, you will receive £4,000
- If your rateable value is exactly £51,000 or over, you will receive £6,000
For businesses in hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation, this means:
- If your rateable value is exactly £15,000 or under, you will receive £8,000
- If your rateable value is over £15,000, and less than £51,000, you will receive £12,000
- If your rateable value is £51,000 or over, you will receive £18,000
How to apply for the Restart Grant
Your local council will determine if you are eligible for the Restart Grant and by how much. They may ask you for some information about your business, such as the nature of your business and if you’ve received any previous funding.