12,000 applications for Simply Business £25K Covid-19 recovery grant


Over 12,000 self-employed people and hopeful entrepreneurs have applied for a single £25,000 Business Boost grant from business insurance provider Simply Business – an award designed to help SMEs cope with the lasting impact of Coronavirus.

Simply Business is awarding their Business Boost grant for the second consecutive year – upping the prize from last year’s £10,000, which was won by Larissa Cooper, owner of Rowan Bay, a local artisan textile business based in Norfolk.

A recent study from Simply Business found that small business owners expect to lose £22,461 each on average as a direct result of the pandemic – with 81% of owners believing they haven’t had enough support from government, and more than one in three (37%) unable to access any government schemes or grants.

With six million SMEs in the UK – accounting for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover, the £126.6 billion expected total loss to SMEs could have a devastating impact on the economy.

The pandemic has inspired a new wave of entrepreneurs, and the Business Boost grant is also open for entries from new businesses and start-ups in need of capital.

The final winner will be decided by a judging panel made up of a range of experts from across business and industry – including leading British investor, CEO of Moblox and former star of TV’s Dragons’ Den, Piers Linney. Piers is joined by The Apprentice winner Carina Lepore, who is Lord Sugar's business partner and founder of Dough Artisan Bakehouse.

Other members of the panel include Tony Robinson OBE – author and vocal champion of the self-employed and Merlie Calvert, founder and CEO at Farillio. The panel is completed by Larissa Cooper, the winner of Business Boost 2020, and Simply Business UK CEO Alan Thomas.

Rugby legend, and former Wales and British & Irish Lions captain, Gareth Thomas is also on board as an official ambassador for the campaign.

The winner of the grant set to be announced in October 2021.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “We’ve been blown away by the number of applications for our Business Boost grant, and recognise that this is a reflection of the challenges that many small business owners continue to face as a result of the pandemic.

“Last year we saw first-hand the positive impact that a cash injection can have on a small business owner’s life, as we awarded Larissa Cooper our first ever Business Boost.

“Small businesses will play a crucial role in the recovery of both our economy and local communities. With owners expecting to lose £22,461 each on average due to Covid-19, it’s vital that we all do our bit to support them.

“That’s why we’re giving away a £25,000 cash grant – to enable the big dreams of one small business owner, and help them get their livelihood back on track.”