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20 August 2020

New Government Grants for SMEs

£20 million in new grants to help SMEs to access specialist advice, new equipment and technology to assist with pandemic recovery.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for SMEs. A wide array of new funding schemes and legislative changes designed to support businesses have been rolled out over recent months, but navigating these new systems, and dealing with the impact of months of lost or reduced revenue, will pose still more challenges for businesses. As is highlighted by this latest funding scheme, it is more important than ever for SMEs to obtain proper advice as they seek to recover and rebuild, to avoid mistakes that could cost many thousands of pounds further down the line.

Under the scheme, small and medium sized businesses in England will be able to apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

The funding can be used to support all SMEs in all sectors. The nature and value of grants awarded will be tailored to local circumstances, and are expected to typically be up to £3,000. Under certain circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, grants of the maximum of £5,000 may be awarded. 

Activities supported through the £20 million of funding must be to directly respond to the impact of COVID-19 and can include:

  • one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus
  • small grants to:
    • help businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital, and
    • purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.

The funding is being provided to address immediate needs, and all grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021 and all activity fully completed by 31 March 2021.

The funding has been allocated to Growth Hubs within each Local Enterprise Partnership and the scheme is expected to open shortly. Further confirmation from the Government on the date the scheme will open is awaited, but in the interim if this is a package of support that would benefit your business, you are advised to register your interest with your relevant Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP can offer comprehensive advice on a range of issues facing businesses dealing with the effects of COVID-19 from employment issues, property issues, director’s insolvency duties and return to work/health and safety issues, to name a few. For more information on our services, and how to register your interest in the new Government grants, please contact Rebecca Burford.

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