Covid -19 Business Support Grants

Information about the grants and financial help available to local businesses as a result of Covid-19 local and national restrictions.

Restart Grant Scheme

As part of the Chancellor's Budget announcement on 3 March 2021, the Government provided details of the Restart Grant scheme to help support non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. This one off grant will be made available to eligible businesses from April 2021 in order to help them reopen safely as lock down restrictions are eased.

We are also pleased to confirm that Sheffield City Region have agreed a further payment to support businesses who are not registered to pay business rates. These additional payments mirror the scheme and amounts offered under the Government's Restart Grant scheme. 

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail business premises. Grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises, which may open later under plans set out in the road map and will be more impacted by restrictions as they reopen. 

Business which have already been awarded grant payments under the Local Restrictions Support Grant or Additional Restrictions Grant scheme for businesses not registered for business rates, DO NOT need to re-apply for the Restart Grant payment. We have automatically identified eligible businesses who have received the above grants and where a restart grant is payable, we have processed payments to the eligible business. 

We ask that businesses check that they have not already received a Restart Grant before submitting any application.

Eligibility criteria

Grants are available for businesses who are registered to pay business rates under the national scheme and those who are NOT registered for business rates under the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme. Please note that depending on whether your business is registered to pay business rates or not, different eligibility criteria apply. Please see the relevant eligibility criteria below.

Rate paying businesses

In order to be eligible to a Restart Grant a business must:

  • be the ratepayer on the Billing Authorities records of the property on 1 April 2021
  • have been trading on 1 April 2021 (purposes of this grant scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions)
  • offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.
  • be within the under the non-essential retail sector, or under the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business sector, as set out in the government's guidance. Please see the following definitions and exclusions listed below.

Businesses NOT registered to pay business rates

In order to be eligible to a ARG Restart Grant a business must:

  • not be a business rates payer, 
  • have been trading on 1 April 2021 (purposes of this grant scheme, a business is considered to be trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions)
  • offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.
  • be able to evidence ongoing fixed property related costs. Fixed property costs can include, rent or a mortgage for the business property and other costs, such as fees for the hire of premises. Please note, that costs associated with businesses operating from from a domestic property, or mobile business, are not eligible under this scheme.
  • be within the under the non-essential retail sector, or under the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business sector, as set out in the government's guidance. Please see the following definitions and exclusions listed below.

Eligible business sectors and exclusions

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY TO CHECK THAT YOUR BUSINESS IS ELIGIBLE

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.

We will 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.

Exclusions

For these purposes, the definition of a non-essential retail business should exclude:

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 and 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.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • 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.

Exclusions

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality retail business should exclude:

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).

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.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • 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.

Exclusions

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should exclude:

private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts.

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.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • 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.

Exclusions 

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude:

all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.

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.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • 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.

Exclusions

For these purposes, the definition of a personal care business should 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.

Gym & sports

For the purposes of this scheme, 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.

We will use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • 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.

Exclusions

For these purposes, the definition of a gym & sport business should exclude:

home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

Further Information about the Restart Grants

Examples of eligible businesses

For examples of eligible business types under each category, please check the following document:
Annex C - Business categories for the Restart Grant
Download (310KB - PDF)

General exclusions

General exclusions to this scheme include:
  • Businesses which do not fall within the eligible sectors and thresholds.
  • Businesses that are not within the ratings system will not be eligible to receive funding under the national rate paying business scheme. However, depending on their circumstances they may be eligible under the ARG Restart scheme for businesses not registered for business rates.
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding.
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.
  • Any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the property) after 1 April 2021 should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to 1 April 2021.

Grant payment amounts

Rate paying businesses

If eligible, rate paying businesses within the non essential retail sector will be paid at the following rates: 

Rateable Value Grant amount payable
Under £15,000 £2,667
£15,001 to £50,999 £4,000
£51,00 and over £6,000

If eligible, rate paying businesses within the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business sectors will be paid at the following rates:

Rateable Value Grant amount payable
Under £15,000 £8,000
£15,001 to £50,999 £12,000
£51,00 and over £18,000

Businesses NOT registered to pay business rates

Grants amounts for businesses not registered to pay business rates vary, and will be paid as follows based on their fixed property costs:

Fixed property costs (Rateable Value or Rent etc) Amount payable to non-essential retail Amount payable to Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Gyms & sports, Personal Care
£0 to £1,499 £0 £0
£1,500 to 2,999 £1,000 £3,000
£3,000 to £15,000 £2,667 £8,000
£15,001 to £51,000 £4,000 £12,000
More than £51,000 £6,000 £18,000

How to apply

Before submitting an application, please check:

  • You have not automatically been awarded a Restart Grant. If you have already received grants from us under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) or the Additional Restrictions Support Grant (ARG) schemes, this is very likely.
  • If are a business rates payer. You must have a business rates account number to submit an application. If you are not registered for business rates, you will need to be able to evidence fixed property related costs. Please note, that costs associated with operations from from a domestic property, or mobile business, are not eligible under this scheme.
  • That you meet the eligibility criteria above, and that none of the exclusions apply to your business.
  • Please do not submit repeat or speculative applications.

Other schemes

Economic Recovery Grant - This scheme is currently closed to new applications

**APPLICATIONS FOR THIS GRANT HAVE NOW CLOSED FOR JUNE DUE TO REACHING THE APPLICATION LIMIT. IT MAY REOPEN ON 1 JULY 2021**

This grant will provide help and assistance to Doncaster start-ups, micro and small to medium businesses affected by the pandemic and the impacts of Brexit to recover and grow.

Eligible businesses will be able to access grants up to £5,000 to help fund projects in a range of areas.

Potential applicants will need to register their project by calling Business Doncaster on 01302 735555.

Eligibility checks will be carried out and qualifying businesses will be sent an application pack and a business advisor will be appointed to support you through the application process.

Closed Schemes

For details of grant schemes that have now closed, please go to our closed schemes page.

Grant subsidy rules 

The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. For more information about the new UK subsidy allowance rules please click here.

Frequently asked questions

How much is the grant payment?

Please see the individual grant schemes for details of any amounts payable. 

When will my grant be paid?

We aim to make payment to eligible businesses within 10 working days of receiving an application.

We apologise if your grant request is taking longer to consider. This may be because they need further checks before a payment can be made. This is often as a result of a discrepancy between our business rates records and the information you have provided on your e-form.

If your grant request is still outstanding, please remain patient. A member of our team will be in contact if further information is needed from you. 

Will you contact me when you send me a grant payment?

Yes. If you are an eligible business, once your payment has been processed we will send you an email notification, followed by a letter. The letter will include important information about state aid requirements and your eligibility to a grant payments.

How will the grant be paid to me?

Payments are being made by BACS. Payments can take between 3-5 days to reach bank accounts from the date of processing.

Is the grant taxable?

Yes, grant income received by a business is taxable. Grant payments will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Can I check the progress of my request?

We ask that you do not contact us to follow up on your request or payment. Doing so requires us to redirect limited resources to answer calls and individual enquiries, slowing our ability to check and process payments to everyone as quickly as possible. 

If your grant application is still outstanding, please remain patient. A member of our team will be in contact if further information is needed from you. If checking the status of your request on MyDoncaster, this may show as 'closed' or ‘pending’. We apologise for this. This does not mean that your request has been dealt with, and it may still be outstanding. We are looking to resolve this error and will deal with all requests as soon as possible. Once your payment has been processed we will send you a letter confirming this.

We thank you for your patience at this difficult time.

Further information about COVID - 19 and the support available to businesses is also available on the Gov.uk website.

Sharing information

Doncaster Council will use the information we hold about you to ensure our Revenue records are correct. We may pass information to other agencies or organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenues and Customs, as allowed by law. Please see our privacy statement to read more about this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: 09 June 2021 14:35:52