In the 2021 Budget statement yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered some vital support for businesses – particularly for Retail, Culture, Tourism and Hospitality.
- One-off restart grants to supporting UK businesses to get back in business will be available from April — grants of up to £18,000 will be available for Retail and Hospitality and grants of up to £6,000 per premises for Non-essential Retail to help them reopen when lockdown ends, from an estimated £5bn fund
- Extending the 5% reduced VAT rate for hospitality and tourism until the end of September to help with recovery when tourism can restart from June, increasing to just 12.5% for a further six months after September
- The 100% Business rates holiday is extended until June for eligible businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure
- The Culture Recovery Fund is being extended with an additional £300m to support arts and culture organisations at a national and local level
- New Help to Grow: Management training programme to help small and medium-sized businesses learn new skills, reach new customers and developing a tailored business growth plan to lead your business to its full potential
At a national and local level, new funding will also be available to help businesses with their digital transformation.
In addition to the Help to Grow: Management training programme, the Government have also announced the Help to Grow: Digital programme starting in the Autumn. Small businesses will be able to get free impartial advice on how technology can support growth. Eligible businesses will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000.
Locally, Lincolnshire County Council has announced the Digital Voucher Fund. This scheme provides a voucher to the value of between £1,000 and £5,000 to local businesses that are looking to invest in new technology for:
- an e‑commerce platform to start selling products or services online
- contactless payment systems to modernise your on-premise payment methods in a post-Covid environment
- website development to promote your business online both to your local community and nationally
- IT Hardware and software to support the digitisation of your businesses and its processes
The registration window for the Digital Voucher Fund with Lincolnshire County Council is very narrow. Businesses have to register their interest between 08 March and 12 March 2021. Full details about the fund, to check if your business is eligible and how to apply are available on the Lincolnshire County Council website.
If you are successful in being invited for a full application, Lincolnshire County Council will then contact you and ask for a minimum of two quotes to a value of £2,000+VAT or more to be provided along with your completed application. You will have to complete the full application within 2 weeks.
Hanabi has experience in supporting businesses to apply for business funding and we have prices starting from £4,000 to provide your business with a digital platform for growth, that will be able to scale alongside your business.
We have previously written about what we offer to support the Hospitality and Travel and Tourism businesses. The Digital Voucher Fund provides businesses with funding up to the full £5,000 amount, but businesses are also allowed to supplement the grant with their own funding if they decide to do so. This is a decision to be made by your business and the investment that you would like to make in a new digital platform.
The Council has set a timeline of just 6 weeks from the date that you receive approval for your grant funding to complete the project, with expressions of interest expected to be reviewed by 26 March 2021. This is a short window for a website project to be completed, but it does provide the opportunity to get an online presence for your business in place with the foundations to build on as your business grows online.
- 08 March 2021 – Digital Voucher Funding opens for Expressions of Interest
- 12 March 2021 – Digital Voucher Funding closes for Expressions of Interest
- 26 March 2021 – Lincolnshire County Council reviews of Expressions of Interest completed
- 29 March 2021 – Lincolnshire County Council will start to send email notifications to advise if businesses have been successful
At Hanabi, we are here to help your business with its online growth by providing a free consultation on choosing a digital platform to build your online presence. Find out more about the Services that we provide and feel free to contact us online, chat with us on WhatsApp or call us on 01507 854065.