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Restart grants

The government recently announced a new package of measures to help re-start the economy following the COVID19 pandemic.

This is the Restart Grant and will be paid as a one-off payment to all businesses registered to pay business rates on 1 April 2021 and who had been severely impacted by the previous lockdown announced on 5 January 2021.

This includes locally rated businesses from the retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation and personal care sectors who were in occupation of their premises and economically active on 1 April 2021.

The amounts will vary based on the type and size of your business. These are summarised below:

Values information
 Type of businessSmall (£1-£15k RV)Medium (£15k - £51k RV)Large (+£51k RV)
 Non-essential retail  £2,667 £4,000  £6,000 
 Hospitality  £8,000 £12,000  £18,000 
 Leisure  £8,000 £12,000  £18,000 
 Accommodation  £8,000 £12,000  £18,000 
 Personal care  £8,000 £12,000  £18,000 
 Gyms and sport  £8,000 £12,000  £18,000 

Non-essential retail

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.

This includes

  • 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.

This does not include

  • Food retailers including
    • Food markets
    • 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
  • Laundrettes 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
  • Mobility support shops

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, 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.

This includes

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public.
  • Businesses that provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.

This does not include

  • Food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out .

This includes

  • Businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods.
  • Businesses that may rely on seasonal labour.
  • Businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities.
  • Businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends.

This does not include

  • All retail businesses
  • Coach tour operators
  • Tour operators and telescopes

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

This includes

  • Businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes.
  • Businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes.

This does not include

  • Private dwellings
  • Education accommodation
  • Residential homes
  • Care homes
  • Residential family centres
  • Beach huts

Gym and sports

For the purposes of this scheme, a gym and 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.

This includes

  • Businesses that offer in-person exercise and sport activities to the general public.
  • Businesses that open to members of the public paying an entry or membership fee.
  • Businesses that require extensive cleaning protocols, which significantly slow down trade.
  • Businesses that offer exercise classes or activities, which may mandate space and no masks etc.

This does not include

  • Home gyms
  • Home exercise studios
  • Home sports courts and home sports grounds

Personal care

For the purposes of this scheme, a personal care business can be defined as a business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing.

This includes

  • Businesses that deliver in-person holistic, beauty and hair treatments.
  • Businesses that provide services such as tattoos and piercings.
  • Businesses that offer close-contact services, which are required to deliver the treatment.
  • Businesses that offer services, treatments or activities that require social distancing and cleaning protocols, which have led to a reduction in their capacity to deliver personal care services.

This does not include

  • 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

Applications

Our application process is now open. If you feel you are eligible for a payment then please submit an application - you only need to apply once. If you have already applied and have received an acknowledgement email from us then you do not need to apply again.

Please note: when completing the application form we will require your 8 digit business rates account number, which is shown in the top right hand corner of your business rates bill. This is a measure to safeguard public finances against potential fraud to ensure the grant applicant is the correct person registered to pay business rates.

We will be unable to provide your account number over the telephone and we will be unable to provide this by email. If you require a copy of your business rates bill then contact our business rates team at revenues@blackpool.gov.uk and they will arrange for a copy to be posted to your normal address.

Our business rates team will not be administering any of the grant payments and will be unable to assist with any queries about your application.

Please note: our teams are required to run all applications through a checking process introduced by the government to validate claims. We are paying out Restart Grants as quickly as central government checking procedures allow. We are aware of the frustration that delays can cause for local businesses who need this money now. This is an issue that is affecting businesses all across the country. Together with other local authorities we are pressing for the verification of claims to be speeded up. 

Please note: this application process will close on 30 June 2021.

 

Pre-payment checks

In administering the Restart Grants the Department for Business, Energy and Indistrial Strategy (BEIS) have insisted we undertake pre-payment checks where your data will be verified by the National Fraud Initiative before any grant payments can be made. This needs to be checked even where there is no suggestion of fraud. 

Supplementary Data Requirements

In administering the Restart Grants the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have insisted we gather extra information from you before a payment can be made. This may include:

  • VAT Registration Number. If you don't have this to hand you can obtain this from HM Revenue and Custom.
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you don't have this to hand you can obtain this from HM Revenue and Custom.
  • National Insurance Number. If you don't have this to hand you can obtain this from HM Revenue and Custom.
  • Charity Number. If you don't have this to hand you can obtain this from the Charity Commission.

Data Sharing

Your information will be shared within Blackpool Council and externally with government agencies, including HM Revenue and Custom for tax purposes, the Department for Work and Pensions and the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). Your information will be used by the government for monitoring and evaluation purposes, as well as for prevention and detection of fraud and/or other criminal activities and for suspension and/or recovery of the grant where necessary. 

The government may share information for the purpose of counter fraud activity and debt recovery with other government departments, agencies and/or local authorities. Our privacy notice details the lawful basis for collecting and sharing data, what we collect and what we do with it. 

Economically Active

To receive the Restart Grant businesses must have been economically active at the rated premises on 1 April 2021. This is broadly considered to be a ratepayer engaged in business activity, carrying on a trade or profession, buying or selling goods or services in order to generate a turnover but does not include those businesses who are in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking off notice.

Indicators for being economically active include:

  • The business has staff on furlough
  • The business continues to trade online, via click and collec services etc
  • The business is engaged in business activity; managing accounts, preparing for reopening, planning and implementing COVID-safe measures