Flood-Affected SMEs To Receive £10 Million

Small Firms Can Claim Financial Support To Counteract Loss Of Trade

18.02.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

The government has put together a £10 million funding package to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have been adversely affected by the recent floods.

Some parts of the UK have received excessive levels of rainfall in the past few weeks and forecasters have warned of further bad weather to come.

Prime minister David Cameron said that dealing with the aftermath of the floods will be a "long haul" process and he is determined to help companies get back on their feet.

Meanwhile, business secretary Vince Cable added: "It is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible.

"I encourage all businesses affected by flooding to get in touch with their local authority or contact the Business Support Helpline, where our team of advisers will be able to direct people to a wide range of practical help and advice."

Aside from financial support, the government is also relaxing certain regulations to help SMEs get back up to speed.

Extra time will be given to firms that have been unable to file their accounts because of disruptions caused by the floods.

Companies House will agree to an extension period and will not collect penalties for late submissions where a new deadline has been set.

An initiative by Enterprise Nation is also running alongside the government programme, with the group bringing together schemes from numerous large businesses under one banner.

Companies such as global workspace provider Regus and cloud solutions specialist Citrix are offering struggling SMEs much-needed assistance as the flood damage is cleared up.

The former will give free workspace to people who have been affected by floodwater, while the latter will allow SMEs to use its GoToMeeting solution on a free three-month trial basis. This will enable businesses to stage meetings online while their properties are fixed.

Last week, the government announced the first round of measures to help small enterprises recover from the floods and a number of large supermarkets - including Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose/John Lewis and Sainsbury's - are also helping out in some way.

Expert Opinion
It is good to see that SMEs are receiving the support they need to get themselves back on track after the floods.

“Small and medium-sized organisations are key to future economic prosperity in the UK and it is vital that their concerns are listened to and acted upon. Indeed, much of the recent economic improvement has been driven by smaller, entrepreneurial firms and it is important that this hard work is not lost.

“Help doesn’t just stop there though. SMEs of course require short-term support to help them through the results of the latest bad weather. It is however really important that they receive long term assistance in relation to a host of other issues including access to expansion finance and support in terms of dealing with red tape.”
Steven Beahan, Partner