£25,000 Business Boost grant launched to help start or grow a small business

  • Simply Business competition to win £25,000 opens today for budding entrepreneurs, closing 17 September
  • This is the second iteration of the grant – last year Larissa Cooper, founder of Rowan Bay Baby Wear, beat 15,000 small businesses to win £10,000
  • Prize fund increased to £25,000 after a recent study showed SMEs now expect to lose £22,461 each on average in lost earnings from Covid-19 with over 2 million existing small businesses unable to access government schemes

Simply Business, a UK provider of small business insurance, today announces the launch of its £25,000 Business Boost grant for 2021 – designed to help new entrepreneurs launch a small business or help existing UK SMEs bounce back from the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Small businesses have a big, positive impact on society. Not only do they account for 99 per cent of all UK businesses and generate £2tn annually to the economy, they provide vital jobs and services within communities right across the UK.

The common barriers to starting a small business are finance, fear and knowledge. So to help overcome this people can apply to win £25,000 cash from Simply Business to help kick-start their business idea – a significant sum given the average UK start up spends £22,756 in their first year.

Small business owners can submit their entries from today with the competition closing on 17 September. The winner will be selected by an expert panel before being announced in October.

The 2021 grant is the second iteration from Simply Business, who provide insurance to over 800,000 small businesses and landlords. Last year it gave away £10,000 to one small business owner to help their recovery from Covid-19. Larissa Cooper – owner of Rowan Bay in Norfolk, who creates and designs sustainable artisan baby wraps and slings – beat almost 15,000 small businesses from across the UK to win.

Larissa Cooper, Business Boost 2020 winner, said: “The Business Boost grant from Simply Business has helped me so much. Winning the £10,000 has enabled me to re-stock and order a new line of woven baby wraps for Rowan Bay.

“And, excitingly, I will soon be collecting my first batch of fleeces from a local conservation organisation ahead of it being processed into wool for my complimentary business Naked Wool. Without the grant, none of this would have been possible, due to the impact Covid had. If you’re thinking about applying – go for it!”

A recent study from Simply Business laid bare the impact of Covid-19 on UK SMEs. The key findings showed:

  • SMEs have lost £15,673 each so far in lost work and earnings due to the pandemic
  • In total, SME owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average, suggesting there are still losses to come, even despite the re openings from government
  • Over 840,000 SMEs are not sure their business will ever return to pre-pandemic trading levels
  • Over 2.2 million SMEs (37%) still haven’t been able to access government schemes and grants, often seen as a lifeline to help small businesses through the pandemic.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Small businesses are built on big dreams, and countless self-employed people have seen these dreams put to the test during this most challenging of periods. We want to make a genuinely transformational impact to a small business owner’s life – with a cash injection that can put someone’s big dream back on track.

“And from our research we know £25,000 will do just that. The average cost of Covid-19 to existing small businesses stands at £22,461 – up from the £11,779 SME owners estimated in May last year. Meanwhile, the average cost for startups in year one alone stands at £22,756.

“We fully appreciate the devastating impact of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns on the self-employed – few have been hit harder. The fact we had almost 15,000 applications last year shows just how important it is to support UK SMEs as they look to recover financially.

“Since then, small businesses have had to endure a third national lockdown and various restrictions on trading, and we know the financial impact now will be even greater than this time last year. This is why we’ve taken the decision to increase the prize to £25,000 – to help match the financial impact suffered by so many small business owners.

“As the country attempts to recover economically, we hope that our Business Boost will provide one small business owner with a significant financial helping hand. Small business success will be crucial to both the economy and the livelihoods of so many up and down the country as the UK looks to bounce back.”

To learn more about the Simply Business Business Boost grant and enter the competition, visit: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/business-boost/

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