SMEs affected by flooding could be eligible to benefit from a £10 million Business Support Scheme launched by the Government this week. The investment, unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, is designed to help the worst affected businesses get back on their feet.

Many businesses are stuck in a waiting game as insurance companies work through the large number of claims. This initiative provides a more immediate lifeline to help with the clean-up, compensate those who have lost trade and facilitate continued trading. A free support helpline has also been set up to provide business owners with advice.

It has been funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) but will be delivered by local councils.

Work underway to help those affected

The Prime Minister said: “The government is taking action across the board to deal with the clean-up and help hard-working people affected by the floods.

“Dealing with these floods will be a long haul, requiring a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together.

“We will continue to help the people who need help and protect the communities that need protecting.”

Another aspect of the agreement is to waive penalties for businesses unable to file accounts or documents with Companies House on time as a result of the flooding.

Business Secretary Vince Cable emphasized the importance of providing assistance as quickly as possible and said local authorities were due to receive their slice of the funding on Tuesday (February 18th).

He said: “We know the insurance companies are working to process claims as quickly as possible.

“I encourage all businesses affected by flooding to get in touch with their local authority or contact the Business Support Helpline, where our team of advisers will be able to direct people to a wide range of practical help and advice.”

This scheme has been organised in addition to the business rates relief and repair and renew grants announced by the Prime Minister on February 12th. Efforts will be made to ensure the support offered does not duplicate that provided by insurance cover.

The Business Support Helpline can be contacted for free on 0300 456 3565.