A helping hand for the bike industry

James Smith highlights some of the grants available to cycling industry businesses as we bounce back from COVID-19

During the pandemic, the Government has offered various methods of support to UK businesses, particularly in the forms of well-known schemes such as furlough and the bounce bank loan. There are, however, a wide selection of lesser-known offerings that you may be unaware of.

Kickstart Scheme
This scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16-24s on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers: 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of six months; associated employer National Insurance contributions; minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions. Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31st December 2021. You’ll get funding until 30th June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31st December 2021. Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future. The funding includes a grant of £1,500 per young person to support equipment/clothing and any other on job training.

Chambers of Commerce
These little nuggets are dotted all over the country but for some reason, very few from the cycling industry are part of their local chamber. Not only is it good to be involved with your local business network, but there are also great opportunities through the local networks for everything from cheaper insurance to cheaper calls.
I recently used their free international trade service helpline for advice.

Education Grants
Some of you may be aware that in 2018, I completed my MSc in Strategic Business Management, but to get there I had the assistance of a military training fund for my OU degree. You don’t have to be an ex-serviceman to receive a bursary or a grant. For example, you can apply to the City and Guild for a maximum of a £6,000 grant. This will just about cover most technical or service type costs and will go some way to covering the costs of a degree. It is a well-known fact that employees that are constantly learning or improving themselves feel more motivated and engaged in their workplace.

Gigabit Voucher Scheme
Is your internet holding you back? Rural organisations and companies can now apply for up to £210 million worth of voucher funding as immediate help for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas. Vouchers worth up to £1,500 for homes and £3,500 for businesses help to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband to people’s doorsteps. You will need to visit the GOV.UK website to see if you qualify.

Low Carbon Workspace Scheme
Grants are available to SMEs based in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.

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