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All you need to know about the Restart Grant for small businesses

All you need to know about the Restart Grant for small businesses
Image source: Getty Images

With the chancellor planning to announce a £5 billion ‘Restart Grant’ to boost the economy after the coronavirus lockdowns, here’s what the scheme could mean for you if you’re a small business owner. 

What is the Restart Grant?

Basically, the Restart Grant helps to ‘tide businesses over’ until they can start up trading again in a few months’ time. So, what can you claim? Well, it depends on two things:

  1. The type of business you’re running
  2. How big your premises are

Eligible venues can claim up to £18,000 in support to help them stay in business until the lockdown restrictions ease. Which businesses are eligible, then? Let’s take a look. 

Who can apply for the Restart Grant?

If you’re a small business owner and you closed your venues due to lockdown rules, you might be able to claim through the scheme. 

Non-essential retail

Non-essential shops can claim up to £6,000 each. Why only £6,000? It’s all about the PM’s road map out of lockdown. Non-essential retailers like bookshops and boutiques can reopen from 12 April 2021 at the earliest, which is a few weeks before we can do things like dining indoors again.

In short, the grant value reflects the fact these venues can open earlier.  

Hospitality, leisure and personal care 

If you’re in one of the following sectors, you could be eligible for up to £18,000:

  • Leisure (including gyms)
  • Personal care and salons (e.g. hairdressers)
  • Hotels
  • Hospitality (e.g. pubs and restaurants) 

What you can claim depends on your company’s ‘rateable value’; 

  • If your rateable value is £15,000 or less, you can claim up to £8,000.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 can claim up to £12,000.
  • If your business has a rateable value of over £51,000, you can claim up to £18,000.

So, if you’re a restaurant owner with a rateable value of £17,000, you could get up to £12,000 under the scheme. 

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Why is the Restart Grant necessary?

It’s all about keeping businesses afloat until they can trade normally again.

We’re still a few months away from some businesses opening their doors, and the chancellor wants to help them make it to the ‘finish line’. Without the Restart Grant, it’s highly possible some venues won’t survive the next 12 or so weeks, so it’s great news for affected business owners. 

All in all, around 700,000 businesses in England will be eligible for the Restart Grant.

When is the Grant paid out?

Well, we know local councils will receive the money in April, but it’s not clear when businesses will actually receive their Restart Grant.

The goal, though, is to make sure businesses get the money as soon as possible, so check with your local council for more details. 

Can I get it if I’m outside England?

No, it’s an English scheme. But don’t worry. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will receive £794 million in funding through the Barnett formula, so support should be available. 

What other support can small businesses claim?

Can’t get the Restart Grant? Here’s what other support might be open to you: 

  • There’s £425 million more going into the Additional Restrictions Fund. So, if you’re not eligible for the Restart Grant, you could get funding through this scheme. 
  • Furlough should be extended for another few months, which could help you stay afloat.  
  • If you’re self-employed, you might be entitled to the fourth SEISS grant or the Targeted Income Grant Scheme
  • You can apply for a Bounce Back Loan until 31 March 2021.


The Restart Grant is a huge boost to small businesses trying to hold on until Covid-19 restrictions ease. Just remember, though, that it’s not the only support option out there.

In the meantime, if you’re worried about your business finances or your cash flow, don’t forget to get financial advice. 

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