Coping with lockdown, local restrictions and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge financial pressures for so many businesses, large and small, start-up or established. Everyone has been affected and it’s going to be pretty tough for quite a while as we get through it.
However, the Scottish and UK Governments have put in place a number of support initiatives – including loans, grants and other tactics to help ease the financial burden at this time, such as extended time to pay certain taxes. Eligibility takes into account specific criteria including how long the business has been trading, what industry or sector it operates in and whether there are employees. The initiatives in place are also changing, as the impact of the crisis has been identified and acted upon.
So the best place to start for a full list of all current financial support schemes support is Find Business Support. Business Gateway also has great resources including a full list of information on financial support and a summary which explains all the available support very clearly, so it will help you get your head around it all.
All UK based business can find information and COVID-19 support here.
Make sure you look carefully at all the financial support that may be available to you. A small grant or low interest loan may give you just the amount of breathing space you need to get back up and running. There can be a lot to take in, so allow yourself time to read through everything. Also remember to check dates carefully too as some of the schemes have deadlines for applying.
It’s important you do your best to take advantage of every type of financial support that is available to you just now – it could mean the difference between your business surviving or not. But also think about other ways that will help your business cashflow (the difference between the money coming into your business (income) and money going out (expenses)).
For example, could you raise some money through a donation-based crowdfunding campaign? Find out more about crowdfunding here.
Perhaps you need to adapt your business – you can find some suggestions on how to do that here.
And of course, you’ll need to think about cutting what you spend as much as you can. Have a look here at some of the ways you can work through surviving and then thriving. Now is not the time for perfection in all that you do!
If you are starting up and looking for equity support from business angels (this is when you sell a share of your company to a business angel in return for some money), the business angel community in Scotland is still investing in new businesses. But it might be a bit harder and take a bit longer for you just now as many business angels are working hard to support the companies they have already supported. Get in touch and we can help direct you to the right business angels if equity investment is suitable for your business.
We do know that despite all the financial packages available, some companies are still not getting support. If that is happening to you, please contact us. Through the work of Women’s Enterprise Scotland we really do need to hear about any problems people are facing as it will help us to work with Government and partners to best support women in business through these difficult times.