Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the restart grant scheme in his recent budget speech, the scheme aims to help Britain’s economy recover from a suffering year brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chancellor said, ‘I hope the grants will breathe new life into nearly 700,000 businesses as lockdown restrictions ease.’
Businesses across the country can now apply for a government grant of up to £18,000 to help reopen after the lockdown restriction ease.
How much is the grant?
The grant will be a one-off payment given out by local councils, that businesses do not have to pay interest on or pay back. The amount of funding you can get depends on the type of business you own.
Hotels, bars and leisure firms etc will be eligible for grants of up to £18,000. Meanwhile, 450,000 non-essential shops will get up to £6,000 per premises to help reopen.
If you’re keen to take out a loan for your business, here are some things you need to keep in mind.
- Eligibility for a loan will depend on your personal financial situation as well as that of your business.
- As with any other borrowing, the lender will look into your credit history, but they may also want to see a business plan or accounts.
- In other words, you need to make sure your finances are in order before you apply for anything.
- To apply for a business loan, your business will usually need to be VAT registered and there may also be a minimum monthly turnover.
- Some providers may also require that you have at least two years of filed accounts, although not all lenders will.
Who is eligible?
Not all businesses are eligible for the grant, so check the criteria to see if your business is eligible.
Your business may be eligible if it is:
- Based in England
- In the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
- Trading on 1 April 2021
If your situation changes after you apply for the loan and you can no longer meet the eligibility criteria, you must notify your local council.
How to apply?
To apply, you should visit your local council’s website for more information. You can find your local council by putting in your postcode on the Gov.uk website.
Then simply click through to the council’s website and search how to apply for a restart grant. Once you’ve found the relevant information, follow the instructions on how to apply.
What if you’re not eligible?
Businesses who aren’t eligible for the government’s restart grants may still be able to get cash via their local councils.
To find out more about what funding you can get, go to your local council website and search “support for small businesses”.
The government also has a free online tool that lets you search for grants and loans available to small businesses.
You can filter your search by business stage, industry, the number of employees and region to find the ones most relevant to you.
There are currently numerous grants listed on the government site, with some worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Small business loans
Another way to get support is through small business loans from your bank or another lender. The most common way of getting a business loan is through a bank, with around a third of small firms applying for them, according to the British Business Bank.