As the UK adjusts to ‘the new normal’, businesses up and down the country are flexing their muscles, feeling out the pain points and readying themselves for striving towards recovery.

To support our businesses in North Tyneside, we’ve done some digging around to find out what help and support there is out there for businesses going forward financially, across North Tyneside and the wider North East region.

Universal credit

For individuals on no or low income, Universal Credit is a widely available form of benefit. It’s worth checking your eligibility for this state benefit if:

  • you’re on a low income or out of work
  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • you live in the UK

To apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Government bounce back loans

The Bounce Back loans are available to small businesses in the UK to enable them to access financial support quickly during the Coronavirus pandemic. Eligible businesses can access loans of between £2,000 and 25% of their turnover, up to a maximum figure of £50,000. Each loan is guaranteed by the government and is interest and fee free for the first 12 months. The interest rate after 12 months is 2.5% a year.

Businesses applying for the Bounce Back loans must be based in the UK, have become established as a business before 1 March 2020 and have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. At the moment, these are available to apply for until 4 November 2020.

To apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

NEL Small Loan Fund

On a more local level, small and medium sized businesses in North Tyneside and throughout the North East can apply for a Small Load Fund from NEL Fund Managers.

In ‘normal’ times, the Fund generally agrees loans between £10,000 and £50,000 to support existing North East Businesses. However, due to the pandemic, the Fund has temporarily increased its upper lending limit to £100,000.

Eligible businesses must be actively trading, be based in the North East and be able to demonstrate how they’ll create job roles as a result of receiving the loan.

To find out how to apply, visit http://www.nel.co.uk/funds/small-loan-fund/ or you can contact the North East Fund’s external engagement officer to talk through all of your needs – Andrew Gibson, Andrew.Gibson@northeastfund.org

Government Kickstart scheme

The Kickstart scheme is an initiative from the Government to help employers create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds.

Aimed at helping those at risk of falling into long-term unemployment, the initiative hopes to create six-month placements for young people already on Universal Credit.

Successful employers who receive the grant will receive 100% of National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

The scheme is open to any employer, regardless of size, but must cover new job roles rather than replacing existing members of staff. More information can be found here – www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

If you’d like to support a position, please register your interest in the North Tyneside scheme by emailing business.forum@northtyneside.gov.uk 

Kick start tourism package and SME restart and recovery grants

As a Business Forum we’ve supported and promoted the Kick start Tourism package as well as the Restart and Recovery grants. Your Chair, Karen Goldfinch, wrote to the North East Growth Hub following the crashing of the system and the with drawl of the process on Tuesday 15 September. We’re pleased to say that they replied quickly, and have come up with a different method of distribution.

This will be a ballot system. The NORTH TYNESIDE ballot will be open from Monday 28 September, 12noon until Tuesday 29 September, 23:59 ONLY.

Find out more about the Restart & Recovery grants on the North East Growth Hub website

Still a bit unsure about what is right for your business?

Our friend Andrew Gibson at North East Fund is allocating every Wednesday to speaking to North Tyneside-based businesses all about finance! He’ll guide you through all of the finance options available, signpost you to the right place and will support your business to find out what is right for you. To find out more and book a slot email Andrew.Gibson@northeastfund.org

If you or your business needs any further help or advice, contact us and we’ll see what we can do to help. We can be contacted by calling 0191 643 6000 or emailing business.forum@northtyneside.gov.uk, or you can contact us on our Facebook page using private messages. You can also view more information about moving forward on our campaign page.

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