Restart Grants – 8th April 2021

The 12th of April will see another stage of re-opening of the country. For many of our clients this is an important step that enables them to re-open their doors and start trading again.  However we know there are still some businesses that will have to remain closed, you have our sympathies, and we hope that Boris will be able to stick to the road map that has been laid out, allowing you to re-open very soon. We all know there are risks, but so far, at each stage our case numbers have remained low. Long may that continue and our fingers are crossed for a more normal summer period, and who knows, maybe even some warm weather!

Back in the March budget the Chancellor announced the next stage of grants called ‘Restart Grants’. These grants replace the Local Restrictions Grants and are there to support those businesses with property costs. As we know from before, really these are grants for those businesses who pay Business Rates. There are some smaller sums available for those businesses who pay property costs, but do not pay Business Rates, but more on that later.

There are three main forms of grants, all of which are one-off sums:

  • Restart Grant – Strand One – Non-Essential Retail
    • These are for business properties that are used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods and services by the public. In addition, to qualify, such businesses should have had to cease their retail operation or were restricted during the third lockdown
    • The sums available have now been released:
      • Property Rateable Value <£15K £2,667
      • Property Rateable Value £15K to £51K £4,000
      • Property Rateable Value >£51K £6,000
    • Restart Grant – Strand Two – Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gym & Sports, Personal Care
      • These cover a wide range of businesses and as with Strand One should have had to cease trade or have had restricted trade as a result of the third lockdown
      • To aid understanding a brief description of the types of business that qualify for each group:
        • Hospitality – A business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink
          • Those businesses whose main service was always takeaway will be excluded
        • Leisure – A business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out
        • Accommodation – Fairly obvious
        • Gym & Sports – A business where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in either competitively or recreationally
        • Personal Care – This is probably the biggest surprise for being in this group and is for businesses which provide a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care, aesthetics and wellbeing
      • The sums available are higher than Strand One and are:
        • Property Rateable Value <£15K £8,000
        • Property Rateable Value £15K to £51K £12,000
        • Property Rateable Value >£51K £18,000
      • Additional Restrictions Restart Grant
        • Like the previous Business Support Grants, these grants are discretionary sums that each Local Authority receives to distribute how they see fit. They are to support businesses who have property costs, but do not pay Business Rates or for businesses who pay Business Rates, but are not eligible for the main Restart Grants, but yet have felt the effects of lockdown. Previous schemes have seen a very different response Authority by Authority and you will need to refer to your local one for details
        • A scan of the Local Authorities has seen only Mid Devon District Council who are proposing fixed one-off grants of £1,500 and listed the following categories:
          • Essential Retailers e.g. farm shops with Cafes, Garden Centres with Cafes
          • Travel Operators e.g. Coach Operators
          • Food and Drink producers supplying local hospitality companies
          • Retail, leisure, and tourism supply businesses
          • Personal Services businesses that rely on visiting other people’s homes for their main businesses e.g. mobile hairdressers, personal trainers
          • Market traders
          • Event organisers
          • Private caterers
          • Driving instructors, taxi drivers and other mobile businesses
          • Other businesses that operate from shared workplaces e.g. yoga instructors at community halls, hairdressers in pay to trade salon stations and other venues where a business trades but is not responsible for paying Business Rates

We have scanned the websites of the Local Authorities in our area to find out the status and the listing below shows where they are with opening for applications. None, as of today, are yet open for applications but they are coming soon. Please check their website regularly. Also be aware that some Authorities may automatically apply the grant if you have applied for previous grants. We are unsure if this is the case, but worth checking with your Local Authority

  • Mid Devon – Launch 16 April
  • Teignbridge – By end of April 21
  • Exeter – No date published
  • Torbay – By 30 April
  • East Devon – No date published
  • West Devon – 8 April
  • Torridge – No date published
  • North Devon – No date published

Please let us know your experiences with grant applications and payments.

The Smarter Accounting Offices will continue to be staffed but will not be open for face to face meetings. We can always make other arrangements for video conferencing or telephone calls if required. If you are dropping off or collecting records via the office, please notify us in advance and wear a facemask.  Please be aware that we are reviewing our policy regards COVID 19 on, at least, a weekly basis.

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Best wishes and stay safe