Liverpool launches £9.5m grant fund for ‘excluded’ self-employed

Liverpool joins Wales in offering grants for the self-employed excluded from government Covid-19 financial support

Liverpool has launched a £9.5m grant fund to specifically help the self-employed in hospitality and leisure excluded from government Covid support.

This includes support for the self-employed, sole traders or the home-based and their supply chains.

The Liverpool self-employed grant fund is the first in England specifically aimed at the “excluded and forgotten” from national support schemes such as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Businesses based in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral are eligible for support from the new £9.5m fund.

Last week, Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak alongside London mayor Sadiq Khan and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham urging him to do something for the 3m self-employed who have found themselves excluded from national support.

It is estimated that there are 3m self-employed excluded from government Covid-19 business support.

Forgotten Limited, the pressure group for small limited company directors affected by the pandemic, said that 70 per cent of its members had not received any government support since the onset of the pandemic in March. Even if they make it to Christmas, 93 per cent doubted their small limited companies would still be trading by Easter.

Mr Rotheram said: “This latest round of local funding will be open to the sorts of small and micro businesses that have so far had to get by without any help from national government. Thousands of people depend on these businesses for their livelihoods and they are at the very heart of our communities.

“It defies belief that almost 3m hard-working people – childminders, booksellers, accountants, entertainers and many, many more – have been left without support since this pandemic started. These small business owners, freelancers and the self-employed showed the entrepreneurial spirit the government so often calls for yet, when they need support most, the government has not been there for them.”

Where to apply for Wales self-employed grant

Wales launched a a start-up grant for new entrepreneurs who have found themselves unable to qualify for government Covid-19 financial support back in July.

This is because you have to show three years’ worth of self-employed accounts under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, barring the newly self-employed.

The newly self-employed can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 per business.

To be eligible for the Wales start-up grant a business must:

  • Have started trading between April 1 2019 and March 1 2020
  • Have a forecast annual turnover of less than £50,000
  • Not be in receipt of self employment Income Support, a non domestic rates grant or economic resilience Fund support
  • Operate in Wales
  • Have one or more of the following:
    – A HMRC Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number
    – A VAT registration number or a VAT exemption certificate
    – Written correspondence confirming registration with HMRC
    – Have seen its turnover drop by at least 50 per cent a result of the Covid-19 outbreak between April and June 2020
    – Must aim to maintain employment (including self-employment) for 12 months

Further reading

Rishi Sunak ignores small business and self-employed in Spending Review

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...