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Coronavirus - resources for business

Business support

Restart grant

In March, the Government announced the Restart Grant scheme which supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted   .

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail businesses. Grants of up to £18,000 will be paid to businesses in the hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors. 

The primary purpose of the restart grant scheme is to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors mentioned above. Therefore, the restart grant scheme is for businesses on the ratings list  only.

Councils have been advised to make payments from April 1, 2021, and not before. 

If a business has received funding from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) scheme, there is no need to re-apply for the Restart Grant. However, the Government has advised councils to carry out a number of pre-payment checks. Businesses will be asked to self-declare by  completing a short form. They will receive the request for this by email, before April 1, 2021. We are unable to make payments until these checks are complete. 

Businesses must have been trading on April 1, 2021 to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme. It is expected that, although the business is not able to provide in-person services from the premises on April 1, 2021, trading and business activity is still ongoing. For example, the business has employees on furlough, trades on-line, offers a click and collect service, manages accounts and is preparing for re-opening and implementing Covid-19 safe measures. 

Businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice are not eligible under these conditions.  

Restart Grant – non essential retail

Rateable Value

Grant Amount

15,000 or less


15,001 and less than 51,000


51,000 or greater



Food retailers, 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.

Restart Grant - hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors

Rateable Value

Grant Amount

15,000 or less


15,001 and less than 51,000


51,000 or greater



Food kiosks, businesses whose main service is a take-away (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions); all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators, telescopes; private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts; home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts, home sports grounds; 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.

Further Exclusions

· Businesses not within the ratings system.

· Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowance.

· Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made, are not eligible for funding under this scheme.


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 before April 5, 2021 will fall into the 20-21 tax year. Payments made after April 6, 2021 will fall into the 21-22 tax year. Unincorporated businesses will be taxed when they receive the grant income.

Application Closure date

The application deadline is June 30, 2021. Final payments must be made by July 31, 2021.

For any businesses that have not yet applied for Covid-19 related grant support, please apply here.

Quick Eligibility Guide

Non-essential retail (up to £6k)

Betting offices, departmental stores, markets (other than livestock), sales kiosks, showrooms, e.g. kitchen, bathroom, tile, glazing, tobacco and vape stores, antiques stores, sales offices, travel agents, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, clothes shops, book shops, auction rooms, car auction, car showrooms, car supermarkets, car washes (standalone not automatic), car/caravan sales/display/hiring sites, charity shops, carpet stores, furniture shops, sofa shops, homeware shops, florists, plant nurseries, jewellers, stationery shops, gift shops, make-up shops, animal groomers, sweet shops, photography studios

Hospitality (up to £18k)

Food courts, public houses/pub restaurants, restaurants, roadside restaurants, wine bars, cafes

Leisure (up to £18k)

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

Accommodation (up to £18k)

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

Personal Care (up to £18k)

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

Gyms and Sport (up to £18k)

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

The above table is not exhaustive, but indicative of the types of businesses that can be supported under the scheme.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed premises) is for businesses that are required to close under restrictions imposed by the UK Government. For more information on business that are required to close visit the closing certain businesses and venues in England webpage.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is a mandatory grant for businesses that have a rateable value. Please note the scheme is not based on eligibility for rate relief. 

Eligibility criteria

To qualify, your business must be in Copeland and has been:

•open as usual and providing in-person services to customers prior to local/national restrictions being imposed.

•required to close due to restrictions imposed by Government for a consecutive period of no less than 14 days because of regulations made under the (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

•paying business rates for the premises before restrictions commenced.

Business can make an application for the period Feb 16 to March 31 and the payment amounts are: 

Payments will be made as follows:

Rateable Value

44-day period (Feb 16 – March 31)

15,000 or less


15,001 and less than 51,000


51,000 or greater


If your substantive business has closed, however, you are operating a take-away service, you can still apply.

For the 44-day payment made for the period beginning February 16, the application closure date is May 31, 2021. 


  •         The period of local restrictions is less than 14 days
  • The business can continue to trade and is not required to close by Government due to restrictions
  • The business has chosen to close but not been required to
  • Businesses which have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of aid permitted under the Business Grant Subsidy Allowance 
  • Businesses that were in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding under this scheme.


Grant income received by a business is taxable. The Local Restrictions Support Grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.


You can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant if:

  • You have previously been awarded a Small Business or a Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant. We aim to fast track your application as soon as you confirm some important details via the application process below.
  • You haven’t been awarded any of the above grants previously, however you now qualify. 

Apply now

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for business that are severely impacted

The Additional Restrictions Support Grant is a discretionary grant scheme to help those businesses that have been forced to close since November 5, but have no rateable value, or those which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

Three types of business are eligible:

1)     Businesses mandated to close that don’t pay business rates i.e. B&B’s paying council tax

2)     Businesses that can remain open but have been severely impacted – 70% of the grant amount paid to a closed business will be paid

3)     Businesses that have received support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed premises. A top-up payment under the Additional Restrictions Grant fund will be paid. Please note, top-up payments will only be processed as soon as all businesses that have not yet received funding under points 1 and 2 above have been assessed. (Eligible under national lockdown, Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions only at present).

Additional Restrictions Grant - National lockdown, Tier 3 and Tier 4 restriction payment amounts

All grants will be paid as follows:


Business mandated to close that don’t pay business rates

Businesses that can remain open but have been severely impacted

Top up payment under Additional Restrictions Grant for businesses that have received funding under Local Restrictions Support Grant

10 or under












This is a cash limited fund based on population and will be available any time Tier 3, Tier 4 or national restrictions are imposed. Both businesses with and without a rateable value can apply. 

Please note, as Copeland entered Tier 4 on December 30, all those that have recently received support under this scheme will receive a further payment, which is effective from December 30. Once our funding allocation has been spent, no further awards will be made and any outstanding applications will be rejected.

Due to the high volume of applications received under this scheme, and limited funds available, applications received after January 31, 2021 will only be paid for the current period. We will be unable to backdate payments for the period Nov 5 to December 2. Eligible businesses will continue to receive future payments, for as long as funds remain. 

As this is a discretionary scheme, there is no formal appeals process. The Council will re-consider a decision where it is clear that an error has been made, but only when funding is still available.


You can apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant by completing the application form below. To support your application, you will need to provide a Business Bank Statement which should be no more than two months old. Please note, your application cannot proceed without uploading this evidence as requested.

Apply now

More information

You can find more information on the businesses required to close and those permitted to stay open by visiting the Government website

If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Rates team at or on 01946 598300.  

Business Grant Subsidy Allowance (State Aid)

The EU State Aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020). View our updated guidance in relation to Business Grant Subsidy Allowance

Expanded Retail and Nursery Discount - Business Rates

Business rates relief for retail, leisure, hospitality and nursery sectors.

Following the 100 per cent discount that was applied during the 2020-21 financial year, at the Budget on March 3, 2021, the Chancellor announced that a 100 per cent discount will apply for the first three months of the financial year 2021-22, this discount will cover the period April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

From July 1, 2021, a 66 per cent discount will apply for the remainder of the 2021-22 financial year.

This 100 per cent discount will be shown on your annual bill for 2021-22. Prior to this discount ending on June 30, 2021, businesses will receive a revised bill for the remainder of the 2021-22 financial year. This will include the 66 per cent discount should the business be eligible.

The 66 per cent discount applicable from July 1, 2021 is subject to a ‘cash cap’. This means a ratepayer may only receive up to the following cash caps of Expanded Retail Discount in 2021-22, ignoring any relief for the period before July 1, 2021:

· £2 million for ratepayers which were mandated by the Government to close their business on January 5, 2021, due to the pandemic

· £105,000 for all other ratepayers

To  clarify, businesses that receive less than £2 million in Government aid (for those forced to close) or less than £105k (for those not forced to close), between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, are eligible for the 66 per cent discount. Any business that received Government support exceeding these totals will not be eligible for the 66 per cent discount.

Full guidance is available at: and

If a business does not want to accept the discount, please opt out by sending an email to or by calling 01946 598300. Likewise, if a business will exceed the cash cap by accepting the 66 per cent discount from July 1, 2021, and therefore is not entitled to the discount, please inform us as soon as possible.

Other support and guidance

Other support and guidance is available via the following websites:

·        Federation of Small Businesses(link is external)

·        Cumbria Growth Hub(link is external)

·        Cumbria Chamber of Commerce(link is external)

·        Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership(link is external)

·        Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster(link is external)

·        Cumbria Tourism(link is external)

For a Workplace Resource Pack from Public Health England, incuing inormation on how to manage and report a positive case, workplace testing, and hygiene, click here.

For further information on making a workplace secure, click here.

Tourism businesses

Tourism businesses can also contact our Tourism Officer, Katie Read, at for one-to-one advice on cancellation policies and rights, changes to business rates etc. If you haven't already, please sign up to Katie's Covid-19 Tourism Business emails, by emailing

Food premises

For detailed Government guidance for food businesses click here. This includes coronavirus and food information, food hygiene guidance, employee sickness, social distancing and guidance for takeaways. Our Environmental Health team has also prepared guidance in line with Government advice.


Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has produced an information page and a leaflet on fire safety for businesses.

If you have not been contacted and would like to discuss your trade waste requirements, please email

You can find out more about the Government Kickstart Scheme here which provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.