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 as businesses start to adapt to new ways of working. 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)

Latest Funding Opportunity: Film and TV Charity Covid-19 Recovery Fund


The Covid-19 Recovery Fund has been created by The Film and TV Charity along with donors to support those most affected by Covid-19 working in the film and TV industry. Well-being support along with grants of £750 a month for up to 6 months will be given to those who are the least financially resilient and at most risk, as it is expected the scheme will attract a higher number of applications than it can support. You must be a UK resident, be an active worker in film, TV or cinema, and have been in a paid industry position for at least 40 days in the last 18 months along with other criteria which can be found in the link above. Applications have now closed.

Local Lockdown Business Grant


Businesses instructed to close during local lockdowns are set to receive support from the Government. For every 3-week lockdown period, businesses that occupy a premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will receive £1,000 safety net to help protect them. Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or more will receive £1,500 for every 3-week lockdown period. Sadly businesses still closed at national level such as nightclubs, will not be eligible. However local authorities will receive a 5% top-up of funding to support other businesses affected by closures. Councils will be responsible for distributing the grants, but for more information visit the link above.

IUK Sustainable Innovation Fund Round 3 (Temporary Framework)


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 third round (temporary framework) will provide UK registered businesses with the chance to apply for a share of up to £10million for new projects focusing on sustainable economic recovery, from Covid-19. There is no limit on project size and each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim up to £175,000. Similar to the previous rounds, the project must be led by a business and include at least one SME, with applications addressing impact to climate change or environmental sustainability.
Applications for round 3 are now closed.

Government Kickstart Scheme


The new £2billion scheme to help young people into work will feel like a life-line for many 16-24 year olds who are deemed to be at high risk of long-term unemployment. For businesses who are seeking to create job placements for young people, the funding received for employer applicants could help make the decision a lot easier. Employers who are able to create 30 or more 6-month job placements can apply and receive 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week per job, plus National Insurance and funds for uniforms and other enrollment costs. The creation of 30 placements without replacing existing vacancies is a tough ask for some, therefore the scheme allows organisations to partner with others, in order to create the minimum 30 placements.
The scheme is open until December 2021 with the possibility of extension. Find all of the information through the link above.

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.

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 has bee extended and will now close Monday 30th November 2020.

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.

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. The second and final claims can be made up until 19th October 2020 for 70% of your average monthly trading profit The grant is paid out in a single installment currently covering 3 months capped at £6,570 overall. Applicants are eligible if their business has been affected by Coronavirus on or after 14th July 2020 and if they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020. Keep an eye on any changes that may be made, via this link.

Funding For Charities:

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.

The Resourcing Racial Justice Fund


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

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.