Over 10,000 SME owners have applied for a single £10,000 Business Boost grant from insurer Simply Business, as the coronavirus continues to take its toll financially on small businesses.
Simply Business launched the grant at the beginning of 2020 to help give a boost to small businesses, but saw a wave of applicants in grave need of financial help after lockdown hit. It comes as many SMEs have found themselves unable to access enough government support, or any at all.
Coronavirus has had a significant impact on the self-employed. A recent study of over 3,700 small business owners by Simply Business found that two thirds (67%) were forced to temporarily stop trading, and an estimated 234,000 SMEs have already shut down.
SMEs also estimate that Covid-19 will cost them £11,779 each on average, in lost work, loan repayments and lost earnings. With over 5.8 million SMEs in the UK, accounting for over 99% of all businesses, the total cost to UK SMEs could reach over £69 billion.
Two-fifths (41%) are also at risk of having to permanently close their business – and this is even before a second lockdown.
Small business owners can still apply for the Business Boost grant here. Applications are open until Monday 28 September and the shortlist will be announced by 9 October The winner will be announced in early November.
Bea Montoya, COO at Simply Business, commented: “We’re astonished by the number of applications we’ve received for our Business Boost grant. We know the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on small businesses, with lockdown costing them £11,700 each on average. Almost half expect to lose up to £10,000, which can be a significant amount of money for the self-employed.
“SMEs account for 99% of all UK businesses, and contribute a combined £2 trillion annually. Put simply, we need small businesses to bounce back if we’re to recover economically.
“That’s why we’re giving away £10,000 to one entrepreneur – to help them start or revive their business, providing a financial boost in these economically challenging times.
“Thankfully, the self-employed are resilient. We know that 75% intend to continue or restart their business, while a further 10% even plan to take the leap and start a new one. We’re hoping that our £10,000 Business Boost grant will enable the big dreams of one entrepreneur, and give them the financial help they need during these difficult times.”