The Restarts Grant Scheme was announced by the Chancellor on 3rd March 2021, to aid non-essential business in reopening safely following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, but what are the restart grants, and is your business eligible to claim?
Helen from Insight Financial Solutions explains what the Restart Grant Scheme is and who it applies to.
What is the Restart Grant Scheme?
The Restart Grants Scheme is the latest in a series of measures introduced since March 2020 to provide direct funding to businesses whose trading has been affected by Covid-19 lockdown measures, whether required to close completely or that have been disrupted from their usual trading practices.
The Restart Grant Scheme involves money from Central Government being allocated to local councils, who then distribute the funds to eligible businesses. Now that lockdown restrictions have begun to ease, funds may have been granted to businesses, but it seems to be taking local councils some time to process the grants. If you have not been contacted by your local Council then we would suggest contacting the directly to determine your eligibility.
Is your business eligible for a Restart Grant?
Your business may be eligible for a Restart Grant provided that it is:
- based in England
- in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
- trading on, or intending to continue to trade on, 1 April 2021
Business can be excluded from claiming the fund if they have exceeded any permitted allowances or is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register.
Have you been unable to trade during the lockdown, and are unsure of your eligibilty?
Many non-essential business have been unable to trade during the periods of lockdown, and this has caused some confusion over the term “trading”.
Simply put, the term “trading” means that you have an intention to resume your business once lockdown measures have eased. The local government can check your bank activity to determine this if necessary and they will be looking for evidence that you have continued to pay employees, rent, claim furlough and make stock purchases ready for re-opening.
If you are unsure, please speak to your local council who will advise you on your eligibility for a Restart Grant.
How much will my business receive with a Restart Grant?
The amount that your business is entitled to with the Restart Grant will depend upon your eligibility for the scheme and the type of business that you trade in. The local council will use their discretion to determine the amount you will receive.
Eligible businesses will be paid:
- a one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector such as fashion retail
- a one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors
I haven’t received my Grant yet, but lockdown restrictions mean that I’m able to open my business – how is this possible with no funds?
Local councils are in control of distributing the funds, and some councils may be processing these more quickly than others. We appreciate how difficult purchasing stock to reopen is, without the funds being in your account. If you haven’t heard from your local council yet, you should check their website and contact them regarding your Restart Grant as soon as possible. We are aware that there have been some delays in funds reaching peoples accounts but Councils are starting to move more quickly.
Find your local council website online at Find your local council – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Please share this article with your friends and relatives with trading businesses, it could help them to gain access to much needed funds at this time.