The Prime Minister hasÂ unveiled a new Â£10Â million business support scheme to help flood affected businesses get back on their feet.
Building on last weekâ€™s package of support for businesses and households, the Prime Minister announced:
- A new Business Support SchemeÂ worth up to Â£10million to provide hardship funding for SME businesses in areasÂ affected by theÂ floods. Both businesses that have been flooded, andÂ businesses that areÂ in affected areas and have suffered significant loss of trade, will be able to apply for support. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for funding for things like immediate clean-up costs, materials, and exceptional costs to helpÂ themÂ continue trading.
- Extra time for businesses to file accounts without any penalties. If any affected company is unable to file accounts or other documents on time as a direct result of the floods, Companies House will agree an extension and not collect theÂ penalties which apply for late filings.
- AÂ GovernmentÂ Business Support HelplineÂ is providingÂ comprehensive advice and support to businesses affected by floods.Â The Helpline will offer aÂ free one hour call with a dedicated Business Support Adviser to help businesses get back on their feet. The helpline number is 0300 456 3565 and can take calls from flood affected businesses now.
Alongside thisÂ Government action, the Government also welcomes the initiative from Enterprise Nation to bring together big business offers of assistance to small firms affected by the floods. These offer of assistanceÂ include:
- Regus, the global workspace provider with 220 business centres across the UK, is coming to the aid of businesses by offering free workspace to workers affected by the floods.Â Those who cannot work in their normal location â€“ whether thatâ€™s an office or their home â€“ will be given free access to the business lounge within any Regus centre, providing professional workspace, wifi and complementary refreshments.
- CitrixÂ has pledgedÂ to support small businesses affected by the floods byÂ letting them useÂ GoToMeeting free on a trial basis for up to 3 months (90 days) for quick and easy online meetings with employees and customers. GoToMeeting is quick to install and allows you to connect face-to-face and work with people important to your business via a mobile, tablet or PC wherever you or they happen to be.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
â€œThe Government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-upÂ and helpÂ hard-working people affected by the floods.Â TodayÂ I amÂ announcingÂ furtherÂ supportÂ forÂ businessesÂ hit to help themÂ get back on their feet.Â Dealing with these floods will be a long haul,Â requiringÂ a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together.Â We will continue toÂ helpÂ theÂ people who need help and protectÂ theÂ communitiesÂ thatÂ need protecting.â€
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“It is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible. We know the insurance companies are working to process claims as quickly as possible and we will inform local authorities of their allocations from the Business Support Scheme on Thursday to assist businesses with clean-up costs or help them to continue trading.
“I encourage all businesses affected by flooding to get in touch with their local authority or contact the Business Support Helpline, where our team of advisers will be able toÂ direct people to aÂ wide range of practical help and advice.”