Daily Briefing: Your latest Grants and COVID Scheme Updates

With so many new Grants and COVID scheme updates every day it's hard to keep track of them all - let alone understand how they apply to you. That's why we've created a Grants and COVID Daily Briefing so you can instantly find the right information and make the right decisions for your business.

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Latest Grants and COVID Scheme Updates: 14 July 2020

SME Loans

New P2P lending platform launched for firms excluded from state support

A community interest company called ExcludedUK has been set up by several fintech firms to run the Small Business Interruption Loan Service. The platform uses peer-to-peer technology for SMEs excluded from the Government's COVID-19 support schemes to source and arrange their own funding from an existing network.

Grant Funding

Innovation funding available for Leeds City Region SMEs

The Connecting Innovation scheme, delivered by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, is providing grants of up to £100,000 for SMEs to help them demonstrate industry-leading innovation that addresses opportunities around industrial digitisation, health technology or the green economy.

Grant Funding

£50k prize package available for hardware startups

The Rapid Challenge competition is providing a prize package worth £50,000 (including a £5,000 grant) for hardware startups to help them develop and commercialise their business innovations. Applications close on 3 August 2020.

Grant Funding

Recruitment grants available for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire SMEs

The Knowledge Exchange for Innovation programme is providing grants for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire-based SMEs to cover the costs of employing a graduate for a 12-month period to help the company grow and innovate. Firms must be from the aerospace, rail and automotive industries and supply chains.

Sector Funding

Key enabling technology funding available for West Midlands SMEs

The Enabling Technologies and Innovation Competencies Challenge Project has opened for applications from SMEs who need funding to develop new innovative products and services through application of Key Enabling Technologies. Firms must be based in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull or Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership areas.

Grant Funding

£38m funding scheme launched for early-stage Scottish firms

The Scottish Government has launched a new funding package for innovative early-stage businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This comprises of £25 million grant and investment fund for equity-backed businesses, an additional £10 million for Scottish Enterprise’s existing Scottish Investment Bank co-investment funds, and a £3 million fund for high-growth startups.

Bounce Back Loans Scheme

UK Government COVID-19 lending for businesses tops £46bn

Over £46 billion has now been lent to around 1.1 million businesses in the UK under the Government's four COVID-19 lending schemes. Bounce Back Loans remain by far the most popular, with £31.7 billion lent to over a million firms, and over 80% of loan applications have been approved, compared to around 50% for the other schemes.


Wales temporarily increases land transaction tax nil rate threshold

The Welsh Government has announced that, from 27 July 2020, the nil rate band of land transaction tax for residential property transactions will increase from £180,000 to £250,000 in an effort to boost the housing market after the COVID-19 crisis. The new rates and bands will apply until 31 March 2021.

Bounce Back Loans Scheme

Alternative lenders will not be able to access cheap Bank of England finance

HMRC has told alternative lenders of the Government's various COVID-19 loan schemes that they will not have access to cheap finance from the Bank of England. Some lenders have struggled to amass enough capital to lend out to SMEs, and this move means that SMEs who have been rejected by the banks will now find it even more difficult to access loans.

COVID-19 Regulations

Face coverings to be compulsory in shops in England

Wearing a face mask or covering in shops and supermarkets in England will be mandatory from 24 July 2020, the Government is set to announce. Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, but children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

Cash Grants (Retail, Hospitality and Leisure)

£1.7bn in COVID-19 grants still yet to be allocated

Over £1.7 billion of grants allocated to local authorities across England to support SMEs during the COVID-19 crisis are still yet to be handed out, according to data supplied by Colliers International. This is equivalent to 14% of the overall funding initially available under the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

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