Helping you prosper

Helping SMEs recover from COVID-19

05 August 2020

At the end of last week, the Government announced a £20 million package to help SMEs trade their way out of the coronavirus pandemic economic slump.

The new funding will supply grants to SMEs of between £1,000 and £5,000 to assist with investment in new equipment and technology and to enable them to source specialist advice. The funding is to be administered by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) via their Growth Hub facilities. The funding is from the England European Regional Development Fund, which was established to provide new funding after new European funding fell away on Brexit.

The uses that the funding may be put to can vary from LEP to LEP and it is intended that LEPs should administer the funds in ways that are most appropriate to their local areas. Each LEP has received a minimum grant of £250,000, with some LEPs receiving greater amounts based on need and size. In UHY Hacker Young East’s local area the following amounts are being advanced initially:

  • Herts LEP - £250,000
  • Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough LEP - £250,000
  • South-East Midlands LEP, which covers Bedfordshire - £496,004.

To put these amounts into further context, in 2015 it was estimated that Hertfordshire hosted over 64,000 active businesses, so it may be reasonable to assume that there are, perhaps, 50,000 SMEs within the county. In that context, funding of £250,000 does not seem extensive and there’s likely to be a high level of competition for funds.

Those businesses that want to benefit from this initiative should look to their local Growth Hub for more details of qualification for funding. Details of the Growth Hubs can be found as follows:

If you need assistance with any matters in relation to funding your business, whether that’s from grant-making bodies or commercial lenders, we can help with identifying the right source for your business, interpreting the jargon, completing applications and helping you get your forecasting in place.

Please contact Kerry McCreadie or your local UHY adviser for more information.