News

Coronavirus Update: Support for Angling Businesses

19 March 2020

Is your business eligible for support through the package of measures announced by the government to support businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19?

Up to £25,000 is available as grants to small businesses while loans of up to £5 million are being made available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Many small businesses in the angling trade are already suffering; tackle shops, fisheries, manufacturers and charter boat owners are already feeling the effects as customers heed the government’s advice to avoid gathering and socialising and staff self-isolate or are forced to work from home, or not at all.

Many of these small businesses operate on very small margins and rely on cash flow to survive. The uncertainty around COVID-19 and how long the current situation will last risks bankrupting small businesses, many of which play important roles in local communities, either employing staff or socially.

The scheme will be launched next week and the Angling Trust is encouraging all angling-dependent businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to read the government’s latest COVID-19: Support for business advice. The package of measures incudes:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs

  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England

  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5million for SMEs through the British Business Bank

  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans

  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

While the grants apply to businesses which pay business rates we have asked the government for clarification whether non-rate paying businesses, such as charter boat operators, can receive grants to support their businesses.

Jamie Cook, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said: “We are encouraging all businesses involved in angling which are suffering as a result of the current coronavirus crisis to look at whether they could take advantage of the support announced by the government. These are unprecedented times and the downturn in business as a result of the measures the country is taking to halt the spread of the virus could have a profound impact on the jobs and livelihoods of those who service angling in the UK. This financial support could be a lifeline for the future of their businesses.”

Paul Devlin, owner of Fishing Megastore and an Angling Trust consultant, said: “These are the most challenging and worrying times I can ever remember, not just for business but for everyone. I do believe that, with the support the government has offered over the last few days, we can all pull through this. It is going to be a long hard job but we all have to remain positive and do the best we can.”

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