With the lifting of legal restrictions in the UK, it’s great to see businesses being able to reopen their doors after a difficult 18 months of closures.
Whilst it’s brilliant to see businesses with their open signs hanging, this doesn’t mean that the difficulties of the pandemic are over, and many businesses are still struggling to stay afloat.
There has been differing financial support throughout the pandemic and with businesses back in operation these lifelines are now beginning to dwindle and people are unsure as to where they can secure support for their business.
If you’re looking for financial support for your business but unsure where to turn, look no further. Below are some options that could work for your business – from national to regional funding options, we’ve got you covered.
Funding and finance support – where to find it.
The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)
This scheme aims to help businesses that are facing struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme is for business purposes and can be used to help with cash flow management, investment, and growth.
Through the Recovery Loan Scheme, you could receive:
- Term loans of between £25,001 and £10m per business
- Invoice or asset finance of between £1000 and £10m
To be eligible for the RLS you must:
- Have a business impacted by COVID-19
- Have a minimum of 2 years of trading history
- Be a limited company or limited liability partnership
- Be trading in the UK
This scheme is available until 31st December 2021, subject to review.
For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recovery-loan-scheme
Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
This government-backed scheme offers grants to start-up businesses for up to £150,00. To be eligible for this scheme, you must have:
- Less than 25 employees,
- Have been trading for less than two years
- Have a fixed place of business within the UK
This scheme is offered throughout the UK.
Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank.
The investment fund aims to nurture regional entrepreneurship by providing investment and support for small and medium-sized businesses. It does this through three finance options:
- Offers small business loans from £25,000 to £100,000
- Can be used for smaller businesses looking to fill the funding gap needed for growth
- Debt Finance:
- Offers business loans from £100,000 to £750,000
- This option can be used to help businesses ‘level up’, helping with funding for hiring staff, purchasing equipment, or moving premises
- Research shows that finance can be difficult for businesses in the North of England despite a huge demand – the NPIF is here to help with that
- Equity Finance:
- This option offers early or late-stage equity funding from £50,000 to £2,000,000
- Equity finance can be vital for past paced growth at all stages of a business
This is a Northern Powerhouse fund, meaning it is only available to businesses based in the north of England.
To find out more about the NPIF visit, https://www.npif.co.uk/
VAT Reduction for hospitality, accommodation, and attractions
Though not a fund or loan as such, the government announced that it would apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, and attractions.
These will remain temporarily reduced until 30th September 2021.
To find out more, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-reduced-rate-for-hospitality-holiday-accommodation-and-attractions
The government-backed Start Up Loan is an unsecured personal loan, rather than a business loan – which offers between £500 and £25,000 to grow your business.
To be eligible for this loan, you must:
- Live in the UK
- Be aged 18, or over
- Have (or plan to start) a UK business that’s been fully trading for less than 24 months.
Start-Up Loans charge a fixed 6% interest rate per year. Repayment can be done between one to two years, with no fees for early repayment.
Export Working Capital Scheme
This scheme helps UK exporters access capital finance for export-related contracts.
It is most useful for exporters who have won a contract that is higher in value than they can typically fulfill and may need support.
There is no minimum or maximum value for the capital amount.
To be eligible for this scheme, the exporter must be carrying on business in the UK and must have entered or be intending to enter, a contract for the supply of goods/services with a company that carries on with business outside of the UK.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-working-capital-scheme-overview-and-how-to-apply
Bank Referral Scheme
The bank referral scheme was established to help businesses who have been unsuccessful with mainstream banks find alternative finance elsewhere.
With an unsuccessful finance application, the bank in question will refer the applicants to designated finance platforms – which will then help the business find another source of finance.
Eligible businesses are those:
- With a turnover of up to £25m
- Who are UK based
- The principal activity is commercial
For more information, visit https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/bank-referrals/
This grant offers tailored support of both finance and coaching to ensure you get the best out of your business.
The AD:VENTURE Growth Grant is offered to businesses under 36 months or in their pre-trading phases. Grants are available between the value of £1000 and £25,000 given to support capital growth.
Businesses must be able to contribute a minimum of 50% of the eligible costs.
This grant is offered to businesses that are based in the Leeds City Region.
For more information, visit https://ad-venture.org.uk/finance-funding/