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Restart Grant

Updated: 31 March 2021

On 3 March 2021, the Government announced a new one-off ‘Restart Grant’ to support businesses (which are predominantly reliant on providing in-person services to the general public) to reopen following the current coronavirus national restrictions.   

The Restart Grant will be available from 1 April 2021 and will replace the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Eligibility criteria

  • A business should be trading and be liable for Business Rates at a property within the borough of St Helens as at 1 April 2021.
  • The premises should predominantly provide in-person services to customers within the following sectors:
    • Non-essential retail; or
    • Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, gym or sports.
  • It has not exceeded subsidy allowance limits (see below).
  • It is not in administration, insolvent or has a striking-off notice issued against it.


  Rateable Value of Property


or less



to £50,999



or more


Non-essential retail sector 2,667 4,000 6,000
Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, gym or sports sectors 8,000 12,000 18,000

Apply Online

Prior to completing this form please ensure you have the following information:

  • Your business rates account and property reference number.
  • A unique reference number to identify the business. This will be either your Company House or Charity Commission number, if you are registered.    Alternatively, you will need to provide a VAT registration number or if you are self-employed either: your National Insurance Number or self-assessment number.
  • Number of employees.
  • The sector you qualify under (see below) or visit gov.uk for further information.
  • Cumulative total of previous funding received under all COVID-19 business grants schemes.

Please upload a bank statement, or equivalent, with your application to allow your business bank account details to be verified or use the separate form enclosed.


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 will include:

  • 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.

For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business excludes:

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, corners shops and off licences
  • breweries
  • pharmacies and 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

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 will include:

  • 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.

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business excludes food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway. 

Note: Businesses that normally provide in-person services but have adapted to offer takeaway only services, during periods of restrictions, will remain eligible for a Restart Grant.

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.

For the purpose of this scheme, the definition of a leisure business excludes:

  • all retail businesses
  • coach tour operators
  • tour operators
  • telescopes

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.


For the purpose of this scheme, the definition of an accommodation business excludes:

  • private dwellings
  • education accommodation
  • residential homes
  • care homes
  • residential family centres
  • beach huts

A gym or sports 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.

For the purpose of this scheme, the definition of a gym or sports business excludes:

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

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 will include:

  • 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.

For the purpose of this grant, the definition of a personal care business excludes:

  • 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.

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Restart Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

Only businesses that make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Payments made to businesses before 5 April 2021 will fall into the 2020/21 tax year. Payments after 6 April 2021 will fall into the 2021/22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

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

The scheme is covered by three subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you 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).

The information provided on your application will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.   It will be treated as confidential and used in the assessment of the COVID-19 related business grants and the administration of National Non-Domestic Rates.  

The Council has a duty to protect public funds and to prevent and investigate allegations of fraud and error. The Council participates in fraud initiatives, including the National Fraud Initiative. We will share information from the application form with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for statistical and grant assurance purposes.  We may disclose information to other bodies, including other billing authorities and government departments, where it is allowed by law or where you have given consent.

Link to full Business Rates - Privacy Notice.