COVID-19 BRIEFING FOR SME’S URGENT FINANCIAL INFORMATION UPDATE
- New Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (New SEISS)
- Local Council Grants – Rules Relaxed
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Reminder
- New Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Grants Now Available
New Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (New SEISS)
A new, additional grant scheme to help self-employed people opens on Monday 17th August.
People can now apply for New SEISS, regardless of whether or not they qualified for a grant under the original SEISS scheme.
Although the criteria for New SEISS are similar to the first scheme, it is likely that more people will qualify for the new scheme.
If you did not apply for the first SEISS, there is still time to do so – and, if you qualify, there is nothing to stop you claiming for both the original and the new SEISS support payments. To check your eligibility, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Local Council Grants – Rules Relaxed
Most local Councils have STILL not distributed all the money from the ‘Discretionary Grants’ that was provided by the Government.
It is generally acknowledged that many Councils made the qualification criteria too harsh, albeit that they were given the power to impose local criteria to ensure flexibility in payments according to local needs.
Currently, over £1.2 billion has not been distributed and the Government has told local Councils that the money must be allocated by 28th August or returned to HM Treasury.
This has prompted Councils to relax their original eligibility criteria, including allowing grants for people who do not have commercial premises but who work from home.
Even if you were originally rejected under this scheme, we strongly advise you to re-apply immediately as you may well qualify under the revised rules. (Completely new applicants are also welcome.)
You can find your local Council by following this link:
Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Reminder
The Government’s BBLS remains open for new applications until 3rd November.
Here’s a link to remind you about the loan criteria: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan
Although most people make an application first through their own bank, we have found that some who have initially been rejected have made a further application with one of the other approved banks.
If your initial application was rejected, we strongly urge you to try a different lender.
There is no limit to the number of different lender applications that you can make – although, of course, only one loan per organisation will be available.
Here is a link to the participating bank lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/
In each case there is only a one-page, seven question form to complete. Feedback has confirmed that some organisations have made several applications with different banks before finding one that has accepted them – so please keep trying!
New Local Enterprise (LEP) Grants Now Available
The Government has announced additional support grants for SME’s.
They will be administered and distributed by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and will be available from September.
Grants will usually be between £1000 and £5000 per approved applicant.
If you are London-based, you can register now ready for the September launch.
Please make your application via the London LEP at this web address:
If you are outside London and want to pre-register you can find your local LEP here: https://www.lepnetwork.net/local-growth-hub-contacts/