Social enterprises are businesses and are entitled to support to get them through the challenging
trading conditions that all businesses will experience. At the time of writing, government policy is that
every organisation which generates over 50% of its income from trading, will be eligible for business
support. There are no restrictions on the legal form (i.e. CIC, a registered charity, community benefit society
This definition fits the SEUK criteria of a social enterprise and so social enterprises should be able to
claim the same support as the rest of the private sector at a minimum.
TYPES OF SUPPORT AVAILABLE
Support for social enterprises is going to come in a variety of forms.
The government has also announced loan schemes and business rate reliefs. Alongside some of the
schemes are grants. The government has also announced that HMRC will be ready to speak with
businesses about tax repayments and creating additional flexibility for businesses on paying their
- Loans – The government will be providing loans through the Business Interruption Loan Scheme up to £5m which can be accessed through mainstream banks.
- Business rate relief – the government will provide 100% rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure
- Public sector contracts – the government has asked all public bodies to continue paying contracts
until the 30th June 2020 and to accelerate payments to suppliers.
- Grants – the government will provide grants of up to £10,000 to businesses which are eligible for
small business rate relief and rural rate relief.
- Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in smaller premises will be able to get access to grants of up to £25,000. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the government will pay for 80% of staff “furloughed” due toCOVID-19 to prevent workers from being made redundant.
- Statutory sick pay – the government will pay for 14 days worth of SSP for those that employ less
than 250 staff.
- Tax support – HMRC will speak with businesses that need to defer tax payments due to COVID-19,
VAT has also been deferred for three months.
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- Funders – funders are showing increased flexibility at this time. For example, see this statement by
London Funders. If you receive funding from a foundation then please contact them immediately
with any concerns. Please check the Association of Charitable Foundations for more information
about foundations’ responses to COVID-19.
- Social investors – social investors are also willing to speak with their investees about increased
flexibility that may be necessary due to COVID-19. Please contact them directly if you have
concerns about repayment.