The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning SMEs that any remaining emergency Coronavirus funding will go back to the Treasury at the end of August if it is not claimed.
Earlier in the year, the Chancellor announced £12 billion of funding to help support businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic, and as of the start of August, there was still around £1.5 billion unclaimed.
Lump sums of £10,000, through the Small Business Grant Fund, and £25,000 through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, were intended to help businesses’ cash flows during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The already claimed £10.8 billion has been paid out to nearly 900,000 businesses, meaning that there are nearly 80,000 eligible firms still to claim.
The Government and Local Authorities are working together in a bid to reach these eligible businesses. Of the 314 English councils distributing the money, 291 have at least one business entitled to support that has not received it.
Mike Cherry, the Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses has urged firms to apply for the grant funding but added it should not be returned to the government if it was not claimed by the deadline.
“There are many small businesses that aren’t eligible, so the Government should widen the criteria to those on the periphery,” he said.
He added the money would be a “Godsend” for businesses left out by the “restrictive criteria” for the grant, such as firms in supply chains to other small ventures.