Restart grants explained

Chris Godfrey

Updated: May 21, 2021 at 9:07 am

UK Government Restart grants are now available to businesses in England that have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme provides funds to help retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses relaunch their operations. As the nation re-opens after lockdown, Restart grants are available to give hard-hit businesses a healthy running start. Read on to find out more about the scheme and if your business qualifies.

What is a Restart grant?

In the national budget statement of March 3rd, alongside the announcement of the Recovery Loans and Super Deduction schemes, the UK Government announced the introduction of Restart grants. These grants aim to provide funds to those sectors of the economy that have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Designed to support retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, Restart grants are available for high street retail shops, gyms, beauty salons, spas, hairdressers, leisure centres, pubs, bars, clubs, hotels, and other hospitality businesses in England that have been mostly closed since the pandemic began. The government says the Restart scheme will provide up to £5 billion of new financial support.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are providing their own support schemes for affected local businesses.

Under the England Restart programme, applicants can claim a grant of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses. As many as 700,000 businesses in England may be eligible for this grant. 

Restart grants became available on April 1st 2021.

Restart grants do not need to be repaid, but they will be treated as part of business profits and may be subject to tax. Businesses can apply via their local council. Find your local council’s website here:

How much can I get?

Eligible non-essential retail businesses can claim a grant of up to £6,000 per premises.

Businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and fitness sectors may claim a grant of up to £18,000 per premises depending on their rateable value:

  • If your rateable value is £15,000 or less, you can claim up to £8,000
  • If it’s between £15,000 and £51,000, you can receive up to £12,000
  • If your rateable value is over £51,000 then you can claim up to £18,000

Grants do not need to be repaid, but they will be treated as profits and may be subject to tax.

Am I eligible for a Restart grant?

If your business operates in England and in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, or fitness sectors, you may be eligible for a Restart grant. You will need to state that your business has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and keep records to prove your claim if requested by HMRC, your local council or other regulatory authorities.  

To make a claim, contact your local council. You can find your local council’s website here:

Even if your business is not eligible for a Restart grant, Swoop offers an extensive choice of other funding options. Register with us to discuss how we can help you source funding to get you back running.

Are businesses that opened in mid-April still eligible for a Restart grant?

Yes. The Government has confirmed that even if your business re-opened as early as 12th April, you will still be eligible for a Restart grant. The scheme reflects the impact of closures during lockdown, not the date that a business re-opens.

When did the Restart grant scheme start?

Restart grants became available in England from 1 April 2021.

Budget 2021 and what it means for business

As well as the Restart grant scheme, the UK Government announced other initiatives to support UK business in the March 3rd budget statement. Designed to help businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of these policies apply to the whole of the UK, while others are for England only: 

  • Now that the government-backed bounce back loan (BBL) and coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) have finished, the Treasury has launched the new Recovery Loans scheme, which will run until the end of the year. Loans can be between £25,000 and £10m.
  • Under the new Super Deduction, for two years from 1 April 2021 any investments your business makes in plant and machinery will qualify for a 130% capital allowance deduction.
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses will pay no business rates for three months, then rates will be discounted for the remaining nine months of the year by two-thirds, in a £6bn tax cut.
  • 5% reduced rate of VAT will be extended until the end of September. Then it will be gradually increased, at 12.5% for six months, before returning to the standard rate from April 2022. The Government says this cut is worth £5bn.
  • The Government says total direct cash support to businesses has so far reached £25bn.

See full details of the 2021 budget here.

Business rates information can be seen here.

Is there other financial support for business during Coronavirus?

On 8th March 2021, the UK Government updated the list of available grants for businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The grants provide support for most business sectors. Sums available range from a few thousand pounds per business to more than £10 million. See the full list of available grants and their closing dates to make a claim here.

Additionally, the Swoop network provides access to a variety of funding alternatives for UK businesses. From asset and invoice finance to business loans, start-up loans, and thousands of different business grants, we have a financial solution for your current situation. Get in touch to discover the best options for all your funding needs. 


Business rates info:

Budget in detail info:

Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance.

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