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Simply Business, one of the UK’s largest providers of small business insurance, today announces the launch of its annual Business Boost competition, which will award a £25,000 cash prize to the winner.
The grant is designed to give UK small businesses a significant helping hand in the face of wider economic challenges – including the cost of living rising at an alarming rate, energy bill increases, inflation and supply challenges.
The recent SME Insights Report from Simply Business showed the impact the cost-of-living crisis continues to have on UK SMEs, alongside the wider effects of the current economic climate. More than a quarter (26%) of small business owners in the UK believe that they will be forced to cease trading if the outlook for their business does not improve - a potentially detrimental blow to the UK economy.
It comes as SME owners say they are owed £32.1bn in late payments; a staggering 1.5 million small business owners (25%) say they will be forced to use personal savings to prop up business. Over a quarter (26%) of SMEs are already spending up to 40% more on energy each month compared to the previous year, with some reporting an astonishing 150% increase in their monthly energy expenses.
A panel of expert judges, from the world of business including Simply Business’s newly appointed Small Business Ambassador Baroness Karren Brady, the founder and CEO of SliderCuts, Mark Maciver and the winner of BBC’s the Apprentice 2022 and co-founder of Oh So Yum, Hapreet Kaur joins the panel again this year among others who will decide on the final winner of the grant.
The grant is the fourth iteration from Simply Business. Last year the £25,000 grant was given to Sarah Jordan, the Founder and C.E.O of sustainable underwear business, Y.O.U Underwear. Sarah will also be part of this year's judging panel.
Entries for Business Boost are open from 15th August and will close on 11th October. The winner will be announced on 7th December.
Sarah Jordan, the Founder and C.E.O of Y.O.U Underwear comments: “I really can’t overstate what an impact winning the Business Boost competition had for us. Not only has it enabled the company to implement our long-held dream of a fully circular fibre-to-fibre recycling programme, helping to keep tonnes of underwear and clothing out of landfill, but it was a huge boost to every element of our business - most notably the confidence it has given knowing that we’ve managed to impress such a prestigious judging panel”
Small Business Ambassador; Baroness Brady CBE comments: “I’m delighted to be a part of the Business Boost panel and to support the competition this year. As someone who has run their own business for several years, I have great empathy for the challenges small business owners endure with securing investment and funding. The past three years have been incredibly difficult on small businesses for a multitude of reasons, most namely withstanding the pressures of post-pandemic recovery, cost-of-living crisis and general economic uncertainty. This is such an important initiative which I’m thrilled to be involved in, giving a fellow entrepreneur the much-needed boost, and continuing to raise awareness of the struggles small businesses have been facing of late”
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Small businesses are built on big dreams, and we know finance plays a huge part in starting or growing a successful small business. It’s never been more important to support the self-employed, with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy bills making it a difficult environment for new and existing owners. We want to make a genuine transformational impact to one owner’s life. From our research, we know £25,000 does just that – the average cost for startups in year one alone stands at £22,756.
“The fact we had over 75,000 applications in the past 3 years shows how important it is to empower the nation’s entrepreneurs, as they look to navigate a tricky economic climate alongside the day-to-day challenges of being a small business owner.
“Small businesses play a vital role in our communities and contribute enormously to our economy. It only felt right to return with our Business Boost grant for a fourth year, having witnessed its positive impact on three deserving small businesses in previous years.”
You can learn more about and enter the Simply Business Business Boost grant here: www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost
Notes to editors:
Data: Survey of 1070 SME owners from across the UK, conducted June 2023
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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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