New lifelines for small businesses

With new Coronavirus laws coming into force and ongoing economic uncertainty, many businesses are urgently seeking a helping hand.

Some positive news is that the government has launched some new initiatives that could provide much needed cash injections for smaller organisations.

Could you benefit from one or more of these?

  • Kickstart Scheme – work opportunities for young people

This new scheme is designed to boost job opportunities for 16-24 year olds, by encouraging companies to offer work placements. Open to any size of business, the scheme pays 100% of the minimum wage, pension and National Insurance for young people working at least 25 hours a week.

If you’re looking to recruit, this could be a viable option. There are a few criteria to meet:

  • Job candidates must be aged 16 to 24, be claiming universal credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment
  • The placement must be a new job
  • The placement is for 6 months working at least 25 hours a week.
  • Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements, but you can partner with other organisations to reach this number.

A further £1,500 per job placement is available for set up costs, support and training. For more information, visit the government website.  

  • Professional advice and technology grants

The Government has also launched a £20 million fund specifically to help small businesses through the pandemic. Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to get back on track.

It means that if you need new technology equipment or software, you can apply for a grant to cover the cost. You can also use grants to fund specialist professional advice – such as HR expertise, marketing strategy or financial knowhow.


The Government has divided this grant between 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) which will pass the funding to local Growth Hubs which support businesses in their areas.

To apply for funding, find your nearest Growth Hub on the LEP Network website. You should be directed to the relevant website and an application form.

  • Business Rates Grant

High street business forced to close due to pandemic guidelines and restrictions do not have to pay business rates for 2020-21. Businesses eligible for this 100% grant on business rates includes companies in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors.

Estate agents, letting agents, and bingo halls can also receive the 100% exemption on business rates. Find out more here.

Other sources of help

Depending on the size and nature of your business there may be other options open to you, including:

Running a small business can be tough. We’re always here to help – as accountants for Sole Traders, Partnership accountants and for corporate tax planning. We also manage payroll services in Peterborough. Just give us a call on 01733 325852.