If your business is dealing with the unprecedented challenges of Coronavirus, there is a range of support to help you through. In addition to the Government's package of business support measures, there are some sector-specific funds available:
If your business focuses on research & development and innovation
The Government's £500 million Future Fund is now open for applications, with innovative and high-growth businesses able to secure investment to help them through the coronavirus outbreak. More information is available on the Government website here.
UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
Companies can check they meet the criteria for funding by going to the British Business Bank website. If they have secured private match funding, one of their investors can register online to start the application process.
The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
The scheme is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank. You can check your eligibility and apply for the Future Fund here.
- As part of the £1.25 billion coronavirus support package to protect firms driving innovation in UK, the Government announced £750 million of grants and loans for SMEs focusing on research and development. The £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.
Innovate UK, the national innovation agency, will accelerate up to £200 million of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An extra £550 million will also be made available to increase support for existing customers and £175,000 of support will be offered to around 1,200 firms not currently in receipt of Innovate UK funding. The first payments will be made by mid-May.
- The Clean Growth Fund has been announced and will support green start-up companies across the UK, joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to supercharge the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies.
- Further innovation funding schemes can be found on the Government website here.
If your business exports out of the UK
The Department of International Trade have issued guidance and support for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find more information here.
If you are a charity organisation
The Government's guidance on coronavirus for the charity sector can be found here.
The Government has pledged £750 million to ensure charities can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak. The support will be provided to support charities at risk of financial hardship that are providing key frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic. The funding will be handled by the National Lottery Community Fund as well as individual Government Departments and will be open to applications shortly.
The funding package comprises three elements:
- £360m will be allocated by central government to charities in England based on evidence of service need.
This will include up to £200m support for hospices, with the rest going to organisations like St Johns’ Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people.
- £370m will support smaller, local charities working with vulnerable people.
In England, this support will be provided through organisations like the National Lottery Community Fund. This will provide support for thousands of charities on the frontline of helping vulnerable people affected by Covid-19.
- The Government will match whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC Big Night In fundraising event on 23rd April, starting with a contribution of at least £20m to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.
Government Departments will be releasing criteria and application instructions shortly for the £360m funding.
Food Charities Grant Fund to support frontline food aid charities
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) have launched the £3.45 million Coronavirus (COVID-19) Food Charities Grant Fund to help front-line food aid charities continue their work in providing food to vulnerable people during the current coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.
Grants of between £30,000 and £100,000 per organisation being made available to front-line food charities. Find more information and how to apply here.
Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund for England
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s £5 million Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund is providing grants of between £500,000 and £1 million.
The funding is for national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections so that they can continue and adapt their critical work. Applications will be considered from charities or benevolent and philanthropic organisations providing frontline services.
Find out more and apply here.
If your business is in the leisure, retail and hospitality sector
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, will receive a grant of £25,000.
Business rates relief through the Expanded Retail Discount scheme is also available for occupied retail, leisure and hospitality premises. Under the scheme, eligible premises will receive a discount of up to 100% on their bill for 2020/21.
If your business is in the cultural sector
Arts Council England are making £160 million of emergency funding available for organisations and individuals across the cultural sector during this crisis. They have also changed the requirements for those currently in receipt of Arts Council funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.
Part of this package includes a £20 million fund for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. This includes choreographers, writers, translators, producers, editors, freelance educators, composers, directors, designers, artists, craft makers and curators. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Arts Council England website.
If your organisation is in the sport & physical activity sector
Sport England are making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus crisis. The support is designed to will help partners, clubs and community organisations cope with the short and long-term impact of the pandemic.
The package includes a £20m Community Emergency Fund specifically targeted at grassroots organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000. Further information on eligibility and how to apply for funding on the Sport England website here.
Funding to Prepare Football Pitches for Resumption of Games and Training
Football clubs and organisations in England and Wales can apply for grants to get their natural and artificial grass pitches ready for when the Government’s coronavirus/COVID-19 advice allows football to start being played again. A funding pot of £9.56 million is available for football clubs and organisations in England and Wales to prepare their pitches. Find out more here.
If your organisation is in the heritage sector
The Heritage Fund are making £50 million available for a Heritage Emergency Fund to support the UK heritage sector as an immediate response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The funding will be used to provide short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites the Heritage Fund have previously invested in to ensure they are not lost to the public.
For more information on the Heritage Emergency Fund, visit their website here.
If your organisation is a community radio station
Other funds and opportunities
Small Business Advertising Fund
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Mail Metro Media have teamed up to offer small businesses the chance to receive a tailored advertising package worth £3,000. The ad fund gives access to free print advertising in Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro and i. Online ads will also run across MailOnline and Metro.co.uk.
The portal for applications will open on Wednesday 13 May 2020. For more information, visit the Small Business Advertising Fund website.
Sustainable Ventures Net Zero Home Programme
A competition for UK entrepreneurs which aims to help catalyse the development of a new generation of sustainable 'smart home' technologies is now open.
Sustainable Ventures has partnered with Schneider Electric to pioneer a collaborative approach to achieve the ‘Net Zero Home’ of the future. Sustainable Ventures will give companies membership access to a Sustainable Workspaces site (Bankside, London) complete with coworking space, event space and testing facilities. Successful companies will also receive a £5,000 cash grant to remunerate them for their involvement in this first phase.
The deadline for applications is 17 June 2020. Find out more and apply here.
For further information on the full range of business support measures which have been made available to UK businesses, visit the government's Business Support website or use the Business Support Finder tool here.