The recent heavy rain and gale-force winds have caused a significant loss of trade for many, but they will now be eligible to claim funds for immediate clean-up costs, materials and exceptional costs through the Business Support Scheme.
Building on last week’s package of support for businesses and households, the Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The Government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up and help hard-working people affected by the floods.
“Today I am announcing further support for businesses hit to help them get back on their feet. 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.”
As part of the new Scheme, businesses will also be given extra time to file their accounts without any penalties from Companies House; and a business support helpline has been set up, offering a free one-hour call to all affected businesses. The helpline number is 0300 456 3565.
Making the announcement of the new Scheme yesterday with the Prime Minister, Business Secretary Vince Cable said ‘it is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible’.
“We know the insurance companies are working to process claims as quickly as possible and we will inform local authorities of their allocations from the Business Support Scheme on Thursday to assist businesses with clean-up costs or help them to continue trading,” said Cable.
“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.”
The Business Support Scheme has been welcomed by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which last week urged the Government to ‘act early’ to aid the storm-struck hospitality and tourism businesses which have, in some cases, played a pivotal role in the relief effort.
The BHA’s chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “Despite the catastrophic effects of flooding on UK hospitality and tourism businesses, our industry has – and continues to - rally together to support their local communities and the people living in them.
“What we are witnessing here is the enduring resilience and community spirit for which our industry has become renowned.”
The new Business Support Scheme will be funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) but administered and delivered by local authorities and is new money for the flood relief effort.