Skip to sub navigation Skip to main content

Coronavirus support for businesses

Ashfield businesses and self-employed people can get Coronavirus (COVID-19) support as well as advice to help keep your business and employees safe.

There is more about government's support for business on the Gov.UK website.

Business Grants Update: Now open for Applications and Declarations – 9 April 2021

It is important that you read all of the following information before selecting the appropriate application or declaration form to complete. Completion of the wrong form will result in the processing of your application being delayed.

Please note that you are only eligible to complete one form per business. If you are eligible to apply for the Restart Grant you will not be eligible to receive funding from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), also called the Discretionary Grant.

All grant applications – declaration requirements

To be eligible to apply for any of the business grants you must be able to answer yes to all of the following 4 requirements: 

  • my business is still viable and I intend to recommence trading once Government restrictions are lifted (ie your business has not gone into liquidation, administration or bankruptcy and it is not envisaged it will do so)
  • by accepting any grant award I will not be in breach of Subsidy Conditions (previously referred to as State Aid regulations)
  • I acknowledge and agree that if I supply false or misleading information as part of the grant application, any grant awarded will be recoverable and I will be liable for prosecution
  • I agree that details of my grant application(s) and any grant(s) awarded can be shared internally within the Council and with Government agencies.

If you cannot answer yes to all of the above you are not eligible to apply for grant funding. You will be required to sign a declaration within your grant application confirming the above if you do proceed with a grant application.


  • Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Restart and ARG Grants 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.

Restart Grants

The Government has announced that it will provide one-off Restart Grants of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 for premises in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and, gym and sports businesses.

Key points:

  • The Restart Grant scheme is for businesses on the ratings list only
  • The business must provide direct in-person services at their business property
  • The business must fall within one of the following sectors: non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym industries
  • The Restart Grant is a one-off grant.

How much funding will be provided to businesses?

Strand One – Non-essential retail

The Restart Grant will support non-essential retail premises with one-off grants of up to £6,000 in Strand One of the Restart Grant. The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667
  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000
  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

What counts as Non-essential retail?

For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business is 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.

Excluded from the definition of a non-essential retail business are 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.

Strand Two – Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms

The Restart Grant will also support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises with one-off grants of up to £18,000 in Strand Two of the Restart Grant.

The following thresholds apply for these businesses:

  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £8,000
  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £12,000
  • Businesses occupying premises appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £18,000.

What counts as 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.

Excluded from the definition of a hospitality business are food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions).

What counts as 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.

Excluded from the definition of a leisure business are all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.

What counts as 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.

Excluded from the definition of an accommodation business are private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts.

What counts as Gym and Sports?

For the purposes of this scheme, a gym and 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.

Excluded from the definition of a gym and sport business are home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

What counts as 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.

Excluded from the definition of a personal care business are 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.

If your business operates services that could be considered non-essential and also fall into a strand 2 category, such as hospitality in the higher funding threshold, the main service will be decided by the Council by assessing which category constitutes 50% or more of your overall business.

Payment timescales

Unlike previous grant application rounds we are unable to provide a definitive timeline for when we will let businesses know the outcome of their application as Government now requires additional pre-payment checks be carried out using third-party software so we will be reliant on how quickly they can carry out these necessary checks.

We do understand the urgency for businesses so we will get payments out to businesses as soon as we are able to but due to pre-payment checking process this is likely to take longer than previous grant application rounds.

Closing date for Restart Business Grant applications

The Government has set a grant closure date for this scheme – applications must be submitted before 23:59 on 30 June 2021.

Government guidelines and grant eligibility

The full Government eligibility criteria for the Restart Grant can be obtained for review from the government website.

Restart Business Grant Application/Declaration

If you meet any of the above Restart Grant criteria and have received Local Restrictions and Lockdown funding from Ashfield District Council during January to March 2021, use this application form.

Apply for Restart Business Grant Declaration

If you meet any of the above Restart Grant criteria but this is your first time of applying for a business grant for your business premises, use this application form.

Apply for Restart Business Grant Application


Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) also called Discretionary Grant

This is a top-up fund to the current existing Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant scheme for those businesses not eligible for restart grants and will support businesses that do not have a business rates account or do not provide direct services from their business property or where the business has been able to trade but has been significantly impacted by the trading restrictions (60% or more turnover loss).

This grant is also to support businesses in non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care, gyms and sports (or in the direct supply chain to these sectors) who have either been mandated to close or who have been significantly impacted by the trading restrictions (60% or more loss of turnover). Tradespeople are not eligible to apply for this grant.

Closing date for Additional Restrictions Grant applications

Please note that the application window for this grants closes at Midnight on Sunday 25 April 2021. Any applications received after that date will not be considered.

Grant awards

Eligible businesses will receive the following grant awards:

Businesses not mandated to close with a Rateable Value (RV) significantly impacted by trading restrictions, and businesses with no RV using (evidenced) Rent as a proxy:

RV or Rent less than £15,000 per annum - Grant award of £3,000

RV or Rent of between £15,000 and £51,000 per annum - Grant award of £4,500

RV or Rent of more than £51,000 per annum - Grant award of £7,500

Businesses with No RV or rent, mandated to close - Grant award of £1,500

Businesses with No RV or rent with trade significantly impacted (60% or more turnover loss) – Grant award of £750.

If your business received a discretionary business grant during the period January to March 2021:

Apply for Discretionary Business Grant Declaration

If this is your first time of applying for a discretionary business grant, your business must have been established and trading before 1 November 2020 which you will be required to evidence.

Apply for New Discretionary Business Grant

Other ‘Open’ Grant Applications

With the exclusion of the above, all other business support grant schemes closed on 31 March 2021 with the exception of the ‘National Lockdown Addendum Grant.’

If you have not already applied for the above grant and if your business premises were closed from 5 January 2021 and has remained closed until 31 March 2021 (inclusive) you can apply, but if eligible you will only receive grants under this scheme for the period between 16 February 2021 until 31 March 2021.

Closing date for 'Open' Grant applications

This grant will be closed for applications on 31 May 2021.

You are eligible to apply for this grant on the application form below if this is your first time applying for support and your business also meets all these conditions:

  • your business is registered on the council’s Business Rates List (ie has a rateable value), and
  • has you as the registered business rates payer, and
  • has been forced to close as a result of the recent Tier 4 or the latest (5 January 2021) national lockdown restrictions.

Please only use this application form if you meet these conditions and this is your first time applying for support.

Apply for Lockdown Addendum Business Grant

National Lockdown – From 5 January 2021

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England , but includes:

  • education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of film and TV filming. 

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds. 

Support for the self-employed

If you are self-employed and eligible for coronavirus support HMRC will contact you and ask you to apply. There is a self-employment support eligibility checker and more information on the Gov.UK website.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) if you are self-employed with a UTR number, then you can get 80% of your average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 over 3 months.

This can be applied for covering Feb, Mar and April after that there will be another round available which can be applied for which will cover Jun, July and Aug.

You can apply through the Government Gateway using your ID and Password.

Other sources of help

The Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme will be launched on 6 April 2021 and is scheduled to run until 31 December 2021.

Loans, overdrafts, asset finance and invoice finance facilities from £1K to £10M are provided by the British Bank to help businesses affected by Covid-19. Finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cashflow, investment and growth. You can apply for this even if you have already taken part with BBLS, CLBILS, CBILS.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) - this is the furlough scheme which has been extended to the 30 September 2021.

Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online - see Making a Claim

Universal Credit

This is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. It can be applied for in addition to the JSS and SEISS payments. You or your partner cannot apply if you have more than £16K of savings. You can find out more on the Universal Credit website

New Style Jobseekers Allowance

If you are unemployed or work less than 16-hpw, have paid enough Class 1 NI contributions in the last 2-3 years and have savings under £16k – then you are entitled to 6-month JSA payments. Claim £58.90 if you're 18 to 24. £74.35 if you're 25 or over. £116.80 if you claim income-related JSA as a couple. You can find out more about Jobseekers Allowance on the Gov.UK website

Self-Isolation Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

This helps people on low incomes, who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, in areas with high incidences of COVID-19 with a one-off grant payment of £500.

If you are asked to self-isolate by the track and trace system you are able to apply for a one-off grant payment of £500 if you meet the eligibility criteria. We are managing the scheme and we will contact you to confirm that your application has been received.

VAT Deferral Schemes

Rather than paying in full at the end of March 2021, businesses will now be able to choose to make 11 equal instalments over 2021-22.

All businesses which took advantage of the VAT deferral previously can use the new payment scheme. Businesses will need to opt in, but all are eligible. HMRC will put in place an opt-in process from Feb-21 and closes on the 21st Jun-21.

You can find out more about VAT Deferral Schemes on the Gov.UK website

Reduced VAT

This reduction is for the hospitality and tourism sectors only and aims to help them manage cash flows at this difficult time. VAT is reduced to 5% and this will remain place until 30th Sept 2021 followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022. This rate applies to the sale of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, suppliers of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

You can find out more about reduced VAT on the Gov.UK website

Business Rates Extended Retail Relief

There is an extended 100% business rates relief period of 3 months for Retail properties for the period up to 30 June 2021. There will also be a new 66% relief for the same premises from 1 July to 31 March 2022 which were required to be closed on 5 January 2021. These reliefs will also apply to nurseries.

Work is underway to include these reliefs in the new Business Rates demands that will be issued for 2021/22.

Free help for small businesses

Suffering late or unfair payments from larger businesses. The Small Business Commissioner helps small businesses resolve disputes around late and unfair payment. This is a free service for any small business (under 50 employees) suffering payment problems from their larger business customers (over 50 employees).

The SBC will provide advice and information to small businesses on:

  • resolving disputes and dealing with an unpaid invoice
  • checking contracts and getting invoices right
  • signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services.

You can find out more on the Small Business Commissioner website

Financial Help and Updates on COVID-19 Support

You can register for daily bulletins to ensure that your business remains aware of the latest changes and know what support is available. You can also find further information about any available financial support for businesses during coronavirus on Gov.UK website.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest information on what’s available to support local businesses in Ashfield, then follow us at:

Business closures to reduce spread of virus

There is guidance available for businesses closing temporarily to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You can find the latest information on the business closures on the website

If you think a non-food business is failing to abide by the rules you should let Trading Standards know. You can email them at

Increased risk of Legionella in vacant businesses

There is an increased risk of Legionella in buildings which have been vacant for some time, such as from employees working from home instead of the office. Pools and spa facilities are also at greater risk. It is caused by water stagnating in the system. 

To reduce the risk hot and cold water should be run at least once a week. Contractors should be competent in Legionella management and pools or spas should follow the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice

How to contact us

You can contact our business support team if you need any help with starting a new business or if you’re looking to grow an existing business: