With government advice and support changing rapidly as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, it’s hard to keep up with the latest news in business support. From closures, furloughed staff, huge drops in productivity and remote working, your business or charity is most definitely not the only one facing uncertain times, as every sector faces immense pressure in knowing what to do next.

Here at Hethel Innovation, we’re still offering our support to businesses the best we can and understand our role is more important than ever. So we’ve put together this live blog to feature all of the funding newly available for small businesses and start-ups during Covid-19, updating any changes as they happen. Whether you’re unsure if your business is eligible for any funding or need more information on how to apply, these direct links will take you straight to where you can find out more and get started.

Our entire team are always on hand to offer free support with funding bids, such as proof-reading, critiquing or any other queries. Get in touch with us regarding your Coronavirus concerns and any other questions by giving us a call or sending over an email.

For Businesses:

(Scroll down for the latest funding for charities)

Norfolk Businesses: Last chance to apply for Phase 2: North Norfolk District Council’s Discretionary Grant Scheme. Closes 27th August 2020


The North Norfolk Discretionary Grant Scheme offers support to certain small businesses predominantly in North Norfolk who did not benefit from, or were not eligible for phase 1 of this scheme, or who are not eligible for other Covid-19 support grants (for example, Small Business Grant Fund, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant). The funding is primarily aimed at SMEs with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs and those which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis. However the scheme is not limited to these aims. For guidance and more information on how to apply before Thursday 27th August 2020, visit the link above.

Latest Funding Opportunity: EIRA’s Enabling Recovery Fund For East of England SMEs Affected by COVID-19

A fantastic fund for the East of England has been recently launched by EIRA to aid SMEs in the Covid-19 related challenges they currently face. The Enabling Recovery Fund will provide project funding for mainly SMEs and will offer expert support in order to find solutions for these challenges. This could be anything from diversifying the business, decision to take on new technology to help online working or developing a new product. Funds available for projects under the scheme could be up to £6000. With projects with a total cost of up to £7,500, the scheme will cover 80% of overall project costs. To apply, your business must be based in the East of England and the resource of academic expertise to explore innovative solutions. Applications are now open and close midday 11th September 2020.

Recovery Fund for Small Businesses


A new £20 million funding scheme launched by the Government is set to help smaller businesses recover from the effects of Covid-19. Small and medium sized businesses in England will be able to apply for between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment to aid recovery and growth. The funds can also be used for legal, financial or other types of advice to help during this period. Funding has been spread between Growth Hubs within each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with a minimum of £250,000 for all LEP areas. So, for businesses in our region, contact New Anglia Growth Hub on how to access the funds.

BT Small Business Support Scheme


The BT Small Business Support Scheme is designed to build recovery and growth for SMEs following COVID-19 and features a range of support aimed at boosting connectivity, cash flow and confidence. Ultra fast business connections, mentoring services and bursaries of £1,000 for UK tech start-ups are all readily available by connecting BT Group directly.

IUK Sustainable Innovation Fund Round 2


Innovate UK has launched some great grant funds over the past few months, with the Sustainable Innovation Fund helping research and development sectors recover from the effects of Covid-19. The second round funding is now underway, with round one drawing to a close. This round is giving UK registered businesses the chance to apply for a share of up to £26million for new projects focusing on sustainable economic recovery from Covid-19. Projects can claim 100% of the project costs, up to £100,000.

Applications close Wednesday 2nd September 2020.
For more information and to submit your application, click on the link above.

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage


Heritage sites have undoubtedly suffered like every sector throughout the pandemic. This £88million fund offers grants to help heritage organisations or businesses adapt and recover; re-open and be able to follow public health guidelines; or temporarily scale back the business. It can help cover operating costs, hibernation costs, reopening costs as well as aiding in assessing and adapting their business to once again become financially viable. Administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England, not for profit organisations, local authorities, private owners and businesses that are part of the heritage ecosystem can all apply for grants of £10,000 to £1 million and £1 million to £3 million. The deadline for applications is midday on 17th August 2020.

Social Enterprise Support Fund

This newly announced funding will provide essential financial support for social enterprises supporting people at high health risk from COVID-19, by offering between £10,000 and £300,000 in grant funds. The Social Enterprise Support Fund looks to help social enterprises change the way they work and make their space COVID-secure over the next 6 months. Applications for round 2 will open on 13th August 2020 to allow another chance for smaller social enterprises to apply.



Future Fund- For Innovative Businesses


In the works for UK businesses driving innovation and development, the new billion-pound support package named Future Fund, could be a saviour for keeping afloat in order to come out the other side of current lock-down. With the government announcing more ways that businesses can access this funding in the coming weeks, so far we know it can help SMEs focusing on research and development, as long as the business is an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised a certain amount in equity investment from third party investors. The scheme is now open until the end of September 2020.

Small Business Grant – Enterprise Nation


The aim of this grant is to help small businesses combat the effects of Covid-19, by rewarding 134 grants of £5,000 in total. The guidelines suggest that the business must have between 2 and 50 employees and must not have received any other cash grants during 2020 directly related to Covid-19. There are several application dates depending on where your business is in the country, applications for central and the south of England have now closed, with applications for the North of England which opened on 27th July 2020. Take a look at the Enterprise Nation link above for other application dates and more details.

Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund


A scheme available to small and micro businesses with fixed property costs, who are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, this could provide your business with a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under. If your business occupies a part of a property or works in a shared space, this grant could be particularly useful, even if another Coronavirus-related loan is in place (but not another Government grant scheme). Local councils are running the application process and have been advised to prioritise small businesses in shared/flexible work-spaces such as units or incubators, market traders, bed and breakfasts if they are paying council tax and charity properties not eligible for other relief.
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply, or search for your local council here.

Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)



The government also announced that there would be support in England for small businesses and those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, in the form of two schemes. Businesses could be eligible for a payment of £10,000 or for £10,000- £21,000 for RHLGF businesses per property. Both schemes are being delivered by local authorities, meaning if your business is eligible for either scheme, your local authority should be in touch to arrange the grant payment.

£1million Fund For Organisations Employing People From Vulnerable Groups


Closed 29th June 2020, applicants will be contacted shortly.

Bounce Back Loan


Helping SMEs bounce back, this loan scheme launched at the beginning of May, offering between £2,000 – £50,000. The length of the loan can extend up to 6 years, with the government guaranteeing 100% of the agreed loan amount, with no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months, but with interest rates rising to 2.5% after that. With 11 lenders participating in this scheme, look to approach the most suitable lender for your business. If the first choice declines your bid, there is always the option to apply with another one. If your business needs more support with this, get in touch and we can lend a hand.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme


Here’s a different type of scheme for smaller businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance of up to £5 million. The government promises 80% of the finance to the lender and will pay the interest and any fees for the first 12 months. There are over 50 lenders supporting this scheme, however businesses will need to show that they have been greatly impacted by Covid-19 and that the business would be viable were it not for this.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Flexible Furlough)



From 1st July 2020, employers will be able to bring back employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time, while still being able to claim the furlough grant for their normal hours not worked. As of 30th June 2020, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to this date. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough for the first time will be 10th June 2020 in order for the 3 week period to be completed. There is a lot of information readily available depending on a business’ situation, so check out the links above to see how to claim or if your business is eligible.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme


This grant brings support to the hardy self-employed. An income support scheme, this is a taxable grant for 80% of average monthly trading profits. The grant is paid out in a single installment currently covering 3 months capped at £7,500 overall, however you must claim for your first grant before 13th July 2020. The scheme has now been extended to August 2020 to make a second and final grant claim, to which a claim for the second grant can be made even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. Keep an eye on any changes that may be made, via this link.

Funding For Charities:

Lloyds Bank Foundation COVID Recovery Fund for Charities


Lloyds Bank Foundation have launched their £7.4 million COVID Recovery Fund for small and medium sized charities. The scheme aims to aid charities who help people overcome complex social issues such as dependency, homelessness and domestic abuse. The support available is designed to be flexible and will provide 140 charities with a two-year unrestricted grant of £50,000. A key element of the new funding programme which is stand alone from anything else currently available is the support of an experienced external Development Partner for each charity in the first 12 months, who will co-create a bespoke support plan to suit the charity’s needs and priorities. Also, a minimum of 25% of the Fund will be equally distributed to charities that are led by and for Black, Asian Minority Ethnic communities. Applications open from 10am 3rd August 2020 and will close at 5pm 11th September 2020. They are also holding a Q&A webinar on 11th August between 2pm – 3.30pm where you can find out more. Sign up to the webinar here.

Front-line Charities Fund


This funding is targeted at front-line charities delivering vital work throughout Coronavirus, to which the government promises a £750 million pot. £370 million of this pot is allocated for small and medium sized charities making an impact during lock-down by delivering food, essential medicines, providing financial support, to name some. It is thought this funding will be delivered via means such as the National lottery Community Fund grant and government departments. Information states that departments are currently working to determine priority charities, with the aim to distribute the funding in the coming weeks.

Food Charities Grant Fund


The scheme has now closed due to a high volume of applications.

The Resourcing Racial Justice Fund


First-round applications closed on 15th June 2020, however do keep an eye out for future funding rounds.

The Youth Endowment Fund – Covid-19 Grant Round


Applications have now closed, with outcomes being announced before 1st July 2020. However the Youth Endowment team are still here to help, so get in touch via their website with any queries.

Loneliness Covid-19 Grant


Applications have now closed, however do watch out for any changes or updates here.

Homelessness Response Fund


Applications have now closed, speculation it could reopen again at a later date.

For all available government support and advice during Coronavirus, visit the main government guidance page here. Or if you need more help finding which financial aid from this list is best suited for your business, give this Gov Financial Support finder a go.