Over 15,000 self-employed people and hopeful entrepreneurs have applied for a single £25,000 Business Boost grant from business insurance provider Simply Business – an award designed to help SMEs cope with the lasting impact of coronavirus.
Simply Business are awarding their Business Boost grant for the second consecutive year – upping the prize from last year’s £10,000, which was won by Larissa Cooper, owner of Rowan Bay, a local artisan textile business based in Norfolk.
A recent study from Simply Business found that small business owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average as a direct result of the pandemic – with 81% of owners believing they haven’t had enough support from government, and more than one in three (37%) unable to access any government schemes or grants.
With six million SMEs in the UK – accounting for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover, the £126.6 billion expected total loss to SMEs could have a devastating impact on the economy.
The pandemic has inspired a new wave of entrepreneurs, and the Business Boost grant is also open for entries from new businesses and start-ups in need of capital.
The final winner will be decided by a judging panel made up of a range of experts from across business and industry – including leading British investor, CEO of Moblox and former star of TV’s Dragons’ Den, Piers Linney. Piers is joined by The Apprentice winner Carina Lepore, who is Lord Sugar’s business partner and founder of Dough Artisan Bakehouse.
Other members of the panel include Tony Robinson OBE – author and vocal champion of the self-employed and Merlie Calvert, founder and CEO at Farillio. The panel is completed by Larissa Cooper, the winner of Business Boost 2020, and Simply Business UK CEO Alan Thomas.
Rugby legend, and former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain, Gareth Thomas is also on board as an official ambassador for the campaign.
People can still apply for the Business Boost grant here. The deadline to apply is 17 September, with the winner of the grant set to be announced in October.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “The number of applications for our Business Boost grant has been overwhelming, and we recognise that this reflects the challenges that many small business owners are still facing as a result of the pandemic.”
“When we awarded Larissa Cooper our first ever Business Boost last year, we witnessed first hand the significant impact that a cash injection can have on a small business owner’s life.”
“Small businesses will be critical to both our economy and local communities’ recovery. With owners expecting to lose an average of £22,461 due to Covid-19, it’s critical that we all pitch in to help them.”
“That’s why we’re giving away a £25,000 cash grant to enable one small business owner’s big dreams and help them reclaim their livelihood.”
To learn more about the Simply Business Business Boost grant and enter the competition, visit: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost/