Can your business secure a Restart Grant?

Is your business eligible for the Restart Grant, the government-backed scheme that provides funding for firms as they emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions?

A barber's shop
Non-essential businesses have been open since 12 April
(Image credit: A barber's shop © Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Some 700,000 businesses emerging from lockdown in England are in line for the Restart Grant, which could be worth as much as £18,000.

The money is aimed at companies forced to close during lockdown in England and now reopening. That means non-essential businesses in sectors such as retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure and personal care. What your business is entitled to will depend on the rateable value of the premises that it occupies, and also its business sector.

Firstly, non-essential retailers, which were mostly allowed to reopen for business on 12 April, are entitled to receive up to £6,000 per premises. They can claim £2,667 if their premises have a rateable value below £15,000, £4,000 if the figure is between £15,000 and £51,000, and £6,000 if it is above this threshold.

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The second strand of the scheme is aimed at businesses in sectors such as gyms, leisure, personal care, accommodation and hospitality, many of which will not be able to reopen until 17 May in England. These businesses can claim grants of £8,000, £12,000 or £18,000, depending on which of the three rateable-value categories they fall into. Importantly, the Restart Grant is being administered by local authorities, albeit with funding from Westminster. Most local authorities are now set up to administer the scheme and you should be able to find details on your council’s website. In some cases, grants will be paid automatically, but you may have to make a formal application.

The scheme only covers England, though the governments of the devolved nations are pursuing similar arrangements of their own, in line with their own timetables for relaxing lockdown restrictions.

David Prosser
Business Columnist

David Prosser is a regular MoneyWeek columnist, writing on small business and entrepreneurship, as well as pensions and other forms of tax-efficient savings and investments. David has been a financial journalist for almost 30 years, specialising initially in personal finance, and then in broader business coverage. He has worked for national newspaper groups including The Financial Times, The Guardian and Observer, Express Newspapers and, most recently, The Independent, where he served for more than three years as business editor.