The short answer is yes. As smaller businesses continue to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, financial issues remain at the forefront of many minds. Although most SMEs are now able to operate freely and without any legal restrictions, the impact of the two years of the pandemic has been substantial for most companies and extreme for some – with a catalogue of debts to clear and an order book still below pre-pandemic levels.
Fortunately, not only has the government's loan scheme been extended until the end of June 2022, but there are still covid business grants available to help your company get back up to full speed as the business environment continues its return to normal. These funds can be used, among other things, to update and streamline your IT asset base, strengthen cyber security, or take steps to improve your remote working infrastructure.
Charitable Grants For Small Businesses
As well as government assistance, you can also seek assistance from charitable trust funds in your area, many funded by large regional businesses (Co-op is a good example). In many places, new Covid grants for small businesses are available to support targeted regeneration and investment initiatives – and it's well worth looking beyond the larger, national charities. Locally-based organisations are often understanding of the needs of small businesses, since they operate in a similar way themselves. You can also look to community groups, as many of these have a strong desire to help SMEs in their local area – although their funds may be limited, and applications open only to the smallest and most locally focused businesses.
It's important to check the criteria of funding providers carefully, as some are limited to businesses based in specific towns or cities, or working in specific sectors. When applying for coronavirus grants, it's likely to play in your favour if you can show clear evidence of engagement with your local community.
Grants For Help With IT
SMEs rely on IT more than ever before since the pandemic, so the government has made available a £20m grant package to assist with these costs. This is ideal if you're looking to make an investment in infrastructure or IT hardware, or support from a managed service provider like TMB. You'll have the option to apply for a small business Covid grant of at least £1,000 with the maximum capped at £5,000. This can help with a wide range of improvements and renovations, ranging from better IT security measures through to gaining the benefits of using a managed IT service provider.
Improving Your Existing Technology
Even if your business already has reliable IT equipment, things have moved on quickly in many areas since 2020, due in part to the widespread adoption of cloud-based software. Some of the technology you use may now be outdated, unnecessary (e.g. an expensive office-based server), or coming to the end of its useful life. You may be able to get grants which allow you to upgrade and improve your tech without overhauling your asset base entirely. These are usually aimed at companies purchasing small equipment such as printers, monitors, and secure mobile internet routers for home-working employees. For a small business, the savings can be considerable and can really help in bringing you back up to full speed. The time spent preparing a professional and compelling grant application is likely to repay you many times over.
Managed IT Support From TMB
At TMB, we offer a range of tailored IT support services to small businesses. To find out more, please call 08455051720 today.
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