David Cameron sets out £10m support scheme for businesses affected by floods
Government offers companies funding for clean-up costs and materials as part of flood relief
The prime minister has announced a new support scheme worth up to £10m to provide funding for small and medium businesses in areas affected by the floods since December 2013.
Backed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) and administered by local authorities, businesses that have been flooded, and those in affected areas which have lost trade, will be able to claim for finance for clean-up operations, materials and exceptional costs to help them continue trading.
Local authorities will have discretion to decide the maximum payments to individual businesses, but it’s predicted that an average £2,500 will be granted per company.
Businesses will also be granted with an extension to file accounts without any penalties and companies looking for flood advice are being offered a free one hour phone call with a dedicated advisor via the government’s business support helpline.
Alongside government action, business network Enterprise Nation has announced a series of initiatives to help small firms affected by flooding which includes free workspace in Regus’ 220 UK business centres and 1,000 free WiFi devices and ‘dongles’, from Vodafone UK.
It also includes a pledge from IT solutions specialist Citrix to let small businesses use its “GoToMeeting” conference service for free for up to 90 days to help them connect with employees and customers despite being affected by the floods.
David Cameron commented: The government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up and help hard-working people affected by the floods.
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“Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, requiring a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together. We will continue to help the people who need help and protect the communities that need protecting.”
Business secretary, Vince Cable, continued: “It is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible.”
Funding allocations to local authorities will be confirmed on Thursday 20. To speak to a dedicated flood advisor, call the business support hotline on 0300 456 3565.