To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department made of the potential effect of the decision on the level of coronavirus restart grant to be awarded to photography studios on the revenue of those studios in the context of the restrictions placed on their business as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the decision to award photography studios a £2,600 restart grant; and if he will allocate additional funds to local authorities so that a grant of £8,000 can be awarded to those studios.
The Restart Grants announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021 are one-off grants to businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors, to support businesses to reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.
Strand One of the Restart Grants aims to support non-essential retail with grants of up to £6,000. Stand Two is to support hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses, with grants of up to £18,000. The higher amount is in recognition that these sectors will have been allowed to open at a later date and are likely to be more severely impacted by remaining restrictions.
The main service principle will determine which threshold of funding a business receives. Businesses will need to declare which is their main service. Local Authorities will need to exercise their reasonable judgement to determine whether or not a business is eligible for grants, and under which funding threshold, and be satisfied that they have taken reasonable and practicable steps to pay eligible businesses, and to pay them the correct amount.
Local Authorities in England have also been allocated £2bn in additional funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), to provide essential support that best suits their area. The latest FAQs issued to Local Authorities on 6 May explain that ARG funding can be used as a top-up for businesses that are in receipt of grants under other schemes.