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Keep Southwark Safe

Southwark Council launches a £2m hardship fund for smaller businesses

14 April 2020

As well as providing a £390,000 community grant for charities and voluntary organisations, Southwark Council has announced that it will invest a further £2m in funds for small businesses which do not qualify for the Government schemes, a support package believed to be the first of its kind nationally from a local authority.

Many small businesses are struggling because they do not qualify for the Government’s Small Business Grant, the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant or for Self-employment Income Support.  If these businesses are in hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and they are not entitled to support from these schemes, they may be able to access a grant under the council’s new Business Hardship Fund. Grants of up to £2,500, £5,000 or £10,000 are available to eligible businesses, depending on the size of the business and level of need.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for jobs, business and innovation, said: “We are making every effort to support our fantastic local businesses but the fact remains that many are still likely to fall through the cracks in terms of financial support, and we want to make sure they are able to carry on now and beyond this crisis. Many of them don’t have the safety net of the businesses which the Government is offering financial support to, including many of Southwark’s smallest, locally run businesses. I would ask the Government to recognise this, and make the investment in them via councils, so we can get the help to where it’s needed. I wish all of our local traders the very best, and I want them to know we’re thinking of them too.”

Businesses can apply for the fund at www.southwark.gov.uk/businesshardshipfund

Page last updated: 14 April 2020