Over 12,000 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: “We’ve been blown away by the number of applications for our Business Boost grant, and recognise that this is a reflection of the challenges that many small business owners continue to face as a result of the pandemic.
“Last year we saw first-hand the positive impact that a cash injection can have on a small business owner’s life, as we awarded Larissa Cooper our first ever Business Boost.
“Small businesses will play a crucial role in the recovery of both our economy and local communities. With owners expecting to lose £22,461 each on average due to Covid-19, it’s vital that we all do our bit to support them.
“That’s why we’re giving away a £25,000 cash grant – to enable the big dreams of one small business owner, and help them get their livelihood back on track.”
To learn more about the Simply Business Business Boost grant and enter the competition, visit: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost/
Data: Survey of 1,206 small business owners from across the UK, conducted March 2021
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Launched in 2005, Simply Business provides an online brokerage service, delivering policies tailored to individual business requirements. Using the power of tech and data to create the best possible customer experiences, Simply Business employs over 800 people across offices in London, Northampton, and Boston in the US.
Owing to its internal underwriting capability, Simply Business can cover over 1,000 trade types – ranging from plumbers to accountants to dog walkers. An accredited B Corp for their positive social impact, Simply Business has also been voted the Sunday Times Best Company To Work For twice in a row.
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