Financial support to help businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Alert!

Further information regarding the Restart Grant is still to be provided by the Government. However as this is overdue, the Council has decided to open the application process for these grants. It should be noted that should additional requirements, or amendments to the scheme, be subsequently introduced by the Government, unfortunately, it may be necessary for ratepayers to reapply for the Restart Grant.
 
We will publish information here regarding the date on which payments will commence, as soon as this is known, as further guidance is still being sought regarding this matter.
 
Thank you for your co-operation



 

Restart Grants from 1 April 2021

A new Restart Grant will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant from 1 April 2021. This ‘one-off’ grant will be for eligible non-domestic ratepayers in non-essential retail and also in the personal care hospitality, accommodation, leisure, gym and sports sectors.
The Council anticipates that applications will be able to be submitted on-line from early April 2021, with payments made from 12 April 2021 onwards. Please be aware that there are two distinct strands to this scheme, and it is very important that the correct sector is selected on application, as an incorrect selection will result in the application for the business being rejected.

The amounts of the grants which can be made to eligible ratepayers are:

Properties used for non-essential retail:

  • Rateable value of £15,000 or less: a grant of £2,667
  • Rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000: a grant of £4,000
  • Rateable value of £51,000 or above: a grant of £6,000

Properties used in the personal care, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, gym and sports sectors:

  • Rateable value of £15,000 or less: a grant of £8,000
  • Rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000: a grant of £12,000
  • Rateable value of £51,000 or above: a grant of £18,000

Further Information on the Business Sectors

Non-Essential Retail

The definition of non-essential retail for the purpose of this grant is considered to be a business that is open to the public and is used wholly or mainly for the purposes of selling or hiring products or services, where the primary purpose of the products or services is not necessary to the health and wellbeing of the public.

Non-essential retail businesses include:

  • animal groomers
  • antiques stores
  • auction rooms
  • betting offices
  • book shops
  • car auctions
  • car showrooms
  • car supermarkets
  • car washes (standalone)
  • car or caravan sales, display or hiring sites
  • carpet stores
  • charity shops
  • clothes shops
  • departmental stores
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • florists
  • furniture shops
  • gift shops
  • homeware shops
  • jewellers
  • make up shops
  • markets (other than livestock)
  • photography studios
  • plant nurseries
  • sales kiosks
  • sales offices
  • showrooms, for example kitchens, bathrooms, tiles and glazing
  • sofa shops
  • stationery shops
  • sweet shops
  • tobacco and vape stores
  • travel agents

Personal Care

For the purpose of this grant, a hospitality business is considered to be a business that provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and also wellbeing.
Personal care businesses include:

  • barbers and groomers
  • beauticians and aesthetics
  • beauty salons
  • hairdressing salons
  • holistic therapy (reflexology, massage, acupuncture)
  • massage centres and massage treatments
  • nail salons
  • other non-surgical treatment providers
  • spas, saunas and steam rooms
  • tanning salons
  • tattoo and piercing studios

Hospitality 

For the purpose of this grant, a hospitality business is considered to be a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.
Hospitality businesses include:

  • cafes
  • public houses and pub restaurants
  • restaurants
  • wine bars
  • food courts

Leisure

For the purpose of this grant, a leisure business is considered to be a
Leisure businesses include:

  • amusement arcades (including adult gaming centres)
  • amusement parks 
  • animal attractions at farms 
  • aquariums 
  • arenas 
  • bingo halls 
  • botanical gardens 
  • bowling alleys 
  • casinos and gambling clubs 
  • cinemas 
  • circus clubs and institutions 
  • concert halls 
  • conference centres 
  • events venues 
  • exhibition centres including for use as banquet halls  
  • go kart rinks 
  • heritage railways 
  • hostess bars 
  • ice rinks 
  • indoor riding centres 
  • miniature railways 
  • model villages 
  • museums and art galleries 
  • night clubs and discotheques 
  • pavilions 
  • pleasure piers 
  • public halls 
  • roller skating rings 
  • sexual entertainment venues 
  • shisha bars and waterpipe consumption venues 
  • soft play centres or areas 
  • stately homes and historic houses 
  • theatres 
  • theme parks
  • tourist attractions
  • village halls, scout huts and cadet huts 
  • visitor attractions at film studios 
  • wedding venues 
  • wildlife centres 
  • zoos and safari parks

Gym and Sports

For the purpose of this grant, a gym and sports business is considered to be a commercial 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). It would also include venues where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.
Gym and sports businesses would include:

  • cricket centres
  • dance schools and centres
  • dance studios
  • driving ranges
  • golf courses
  • gyms and fitness suites
  • outdoor adventure centres
  • outdoor sports centres
  • shooting and archery venues
  • ski centres
  • sports and leisure centres
  • sports courts
  • squash courts
  • swimming pools
  • tennis centres
  • water sport centres

Accomodation

For the purpose of this grant, an accommodation business is considered to be a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other associated purposes.
Accommodation businesses would include:

  • bed and breakfasts
  • boarding houses
  • campsites
  • canal boats or other vessels
  • caravan parks
  • caravan sites and pitches
  • catered holiday homes
  • chalet parks
  • coaching inns
  • country house hotels
  • guest and boarding houses
  • holiday homes, apartments, cottages or bungalows
  • hostels
  • hotels
  • lodges

Subsidy Allowance (Previously State Aid)

A new domestic subsidy allowance for COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021. Applications made prior to that date are still subject to the previous state aid/subsidy control limits.

The scheme is covered by three subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance - a business is allowed to receive up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years 
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance - a business is allowed to receive up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if a business has reached its limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, the business may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met.

Grants under these three allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).

Fraud or Deception

The Restart Grant is for the ratepayer only and it will be subject to full recovery if the recipient is not the ratepayer on the eligible day and/or if the business previously traded from the property at any time, without the Council being informed of any such use.
 
Knowsley Council will not accept any deliberate manipulation of the grant process or any associated fraud. Any ratepayer, or their representative, caught falsifying their records to gain any payment will face prosecution and any funding will be subject to clawback.

Privacy Notice

Details regarding the use of information provided with the application can be found on the council's website.

Applications

Please note that stringent checks will be made on all applications to verify the information provided and that to complete this application form you will need:

  • The 10-digit account reference from your Non-Domestic Rate bill
  • Your business bank account details
  • A scan or photo of a bank statement from the last 3 months to upload with your application
  • Company Registration Number (if you are a limited company)
  • Your National Insurance Number (if you are a sole trader or partnership)
  • The ratepayer and trading name from your Non-Domestic Rate account
  • Details of the date on which the business was established and the number of employees

It is reiterated that there are two distinct strands to this scheme, and it is very important that the correct sector is selected on application, as an incorrect selection will result in the application for the business being rejected.

Businesses that were not legally required to close under the national restrictions will not ordinarily be able to receive for this grant (with the exception of dog groomers), as they will not be entitled, and all such applications will be rejected.

Further information or clarification regarding the Restart Grant can be obtained by calling the Business Grants Team on: 0151 443 4039/5880

Apply for the Restart Grant