Two weeks to go: Square Mile SMEs urged to take advantage of City Corporation financial support before deadline

The City of London Corporation has today (15 July) called on qualifying SMEs based in the Square Mile to apply to its Covid Business Recovery Fund before the scheme closes on 30 July.

The funding pot offers up to £50 million in support for SMEs which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level, and which directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents.

The grant scheme supports businesses that can show, through the application process, a likelihood that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.

Applicants need to demonstrate that they provide an in-person service to the public in either the retail, hospitality, medical or leisure sectors.

Other requirements include that the business has taken steps to reduce its costs as far as practical, has taken up all available grants/loans and has actively engaged with its landlord and agreed a rent-free period or a reduction in rent.

Grants will be based on individual requirements after a financial evaluation but will not exceed £100,000 per business.

Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said:

“Small and medium sized enterprises are the life blood of the City, but many have faced exceptionally challenging trading conditions over recent months.

“We are committed to supporting those firms who have struggled over the past year in the best way we can, to ensure a strong, sustainable recovery here in the Square Mile.

“The Covid Business Recovery Fund is playing a vital role in the City’s economic fightback and will help us, in partnership with our SMEs, to build back better from the pandemic. We urge qualifying Square Mile SMEs to submit their applications before the deadline.

Small businesses that directly interact with the public, such as food, hospitality and close-contact services, will be required to register with the Covid Compliant Accreditation Scheme, if they have not done so already.

The scheme helps businesses in their reopening by sharing best practice and reassuring customers that they have systems in place to minimise risks associated with coronavirus and that their premises are safe to visit.

Businesses can find more information on the fund and apply here.

The Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre will provide support to any applicants unsure how to use the portal.