Local authorities advised on Restart grant payments

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown grants: pubs will soon be able to receive one-off cash funding of up to £18,000 (image: Getty/Baloncici)
Lockdown grants: pubs will soon be able to receive one-off cash funding of up to £18,000 (image: Getty/Baloncici)

Related tags: lockdown, grants, Beer, coronavirus

Guidance on Restart grants has been issued to local authorities by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The guidance states it is "expected" local authorities will provide pubs and restaurants with the funding "as soon as possible from 1 April 2021," the date councils will be given the extra cash.

The application closure date for the scheme is 30 June 2021 and final payments must be made by 31 July 2021, the guidance also declares.

Pubs will be eligible for the one-off grants regardless of whether they are able to open for outdoor trade from 12 April, BEIS confirmed to The Morning Advertiser (MA).

Businesses that have adapted to providing a takeaway service during the lockdown are not excluded from this grant, as with previous coronavirus grants.

Local authorities have been advised to define a hospitality business as those that offer “in-person food and drink services to the general public” or “provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors.”

Rateable value

Pubs will be eligible for different grant sums depending on their rateable value.

Those with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under will be eligible for £8,000 while those with a value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive £12,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over will receive a grant of £18,000.

Local authorities are advised to ignore any changes to the rating list after 1 April 2021.

If an authority believes a rating list was “inaccurate” on 1 April, councils can withhold a grant or award a grant “based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate.” 

“This is entirely at the discretion of the local authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors,” the guidance states.

The Restart grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business but only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Delay concerns

Local authorities will have to run an application process for all first-time applicants and “must be satisfied” that previous grant recipients meet the eligibility criteria for the grant.

Councils must hold the following information on all applicants:

a. Name of business

b. Business Trading Address including postcode

c. Unique identifier (preferably Company Reference Number (CRN)) if applicable. If not applicable, VAT registration number, self assessment/partnership number, national insurance number, unique taxpayer reference, registered charity number will also be acceptable)

d. High level SIC Code

e. Nature of business

f. Date business established

g. Number of employees

h. Business rate account number (if applicable)

i. Cumulative total of previous funding received under all Covid-19 business grants schemes

Operators have previously reported frustrating delays with the payment of lockdown grants.

More than half of grants that were announced to support pubs in the second lockdown still had not been paid last month (January,) The MA​ reported.

What’s more, 46% of surveyed operators said they were yet to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grants that were available for licensees amid the tier measures, as of January 2021.

Related topics: Legislation

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