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In Spring Budget 2021 the Chancellor announced Restart Grants for certain businesses closed during lockdown.  Details were published on 17th March 2021, in the form of Guidance for Local Authorities

The pertinent details are:

1 – Available to businesses who pay Business Rates

2 – Administered by Local Authorities, on behalf of Government

3 – If businesses occupy more than one set of premises, then they should be eligible for separate grants for each set of premises, subject to overall State Aid thresholds (State Aid Threshold are complex, but seem to be between £335k and £10m of State Aid dependent on circumstances)

4 – Local Authorities are not allowed to pay these grants before start of April 2021, but are encouraged to pay them as soon as possible afterwards.  Applications close 30 June 2021.

5 – Businesses must have been trading on 1 April 2021 – this doesn’t exclude businesses with staff on furlough, or forced to close temporarily due to lockdown.  It does exclude businesses in liquidation, etc.

6 – Grants are taxable business income

There are two “strands” to the grants, with differing amounts – lower amounts for Non Essential Retail, higher amounts for Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gyms, Sports and Personal Care.

Considerable detail is given as to eligibility and exclusions, but on reading these its a fairly logical approach of making sure that businesses which had to substantially / wholly close during lock down are supported, and businesses which traded through lock down are excluded.

 

Strand 1 – Non Essential Retail Premises

Criteria “For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business can be defined as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public,where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.  Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

– Businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public.
– Businesses that were likely to have been required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown
– Businesses that had retail services restricted during January lockdown
– Businesses that sell directly to consumers

Excluding – exclude:food retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops, off licences, breweries, pharmacies, chemists, newsagents, animal rescue centres and boarding facilities, building merchants, petrol stations, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, education providers including tutoring services, banks, building societies and other financial providers,post offices, funeral directors, launderettes and dry cleaners, medical practices, veterinary surgeries and pet shops, agricultural supply shops, garden centres, storage and distribution facilities,wholesalers,employment agencies and businesses,office buildings,automatic car washes and mobility support shops.”

(From the Government Guidance)

Grant Amount:

– Rateable Value £15,000 or under – grant of £2,667
– Rateable Value £15,001 to £50,999 – grant of £4,000
– Rateable Value £51,000 or over – grant of £6,000

Strand 2 – Hospitality, Leisure, Accommodation, Gyms, Sports and Personal Care

Eligibility:

Hospitality – “a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink”.
Excludes – “food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions)”

Leisure – “a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out”.
Excludes “exclude:all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.”

Accommodation – “a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday,travel and other purposes.”
Excludes “private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts”

Gym and Sports – “a gym & sport business can be defined as a commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis 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 competitively or recreationally”
Excludes “home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds”

For clients of our Yoga Tax business, we would anticipate that this definition includes Yoga Studios.

Personal Care – “a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair,grooming, body care and aesthetics, and well being”
Excludes “exclude:businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services;businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others;businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services,treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health”

Extracts in italics  the Government Guidance

Grant Amount:

– Rateable Value £15,000 or under – grant of £8,000
– Rateable Value £15,001 to £50,999 – grant of £12,000
– Rateable Value £51,000 or over – grant of £18,000