SMEs are missing out on £1.5 billion worth of COVID-19 Government support grants

According to the latest research, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are missing out on almost £1.5 billion in coronavirus business support grants, which have gone unclaimed ahead of the deadline on Friday 28 August.

The data found that almost one million SME emergency support grants have been distributed since they were introduced.

However, figures have indicated that almost 70,000 SMEs that the Government initially accounted for in their estimates for those they expected to require a grant, are yet to submit a claim.

The emergency grants were announced in March to help small businesses with cash flow issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Government recently revealed that £10.8 billion had been paid out to businesses, which highlighted the £1.5 billion that was still to be claimed.

Some businesses are urging for the deadline to be extended beyond 28 August, but the Government has informed local authorities that the deadline will not be altered and that any unclaimed grant funding will be returned.

Research has indicated that many eligible businesses in tourism hotspots, such as seaside towns, Cornwall and Dorset, have yet to claim, despite a significant drop in tourism during key periods this year, including the May and Easter Bank Holiday weekends.

The average grant provided by English councils is £12,269, with Cornwall, Leeds and Birmingham councils paying out the most in SME emergency support grants since their introduction in March.

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