HMRC has reported to Dorset LEP that since the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), over 123,000 jobs in Dorset have been supported.
In March, Dorset LEP allocated additional resource to Dorset Gateway, Dorset LEP’s business growth hub, to manage increased enquiries and ensure local businesses were aware of these two schemes, as well as all other government and local funding support that has been made available throughout the coronavirus pandemic. .
Delivered in partnership with Dorset Chamber, Dorset Gateway provides signposting to a range of advice and support, key account management and a free specialist bid-writing service – all of which are fully-funded to help support Dorset’s businesses. Dorset Gateway has signposted businesses to local and national support, seconded existing staff to new and temporary roles, helped businesses apply for government grant funding, and conducted a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey for Dorset which has informed government COVID-19 schemes that have helped specific challenges Dorset businesses have been facing.
As of 31 May, 93,100 jobs were recorded as furloughed by businesses across the county since the CJRS was launched in April. This scheme, which will now run until the end of October, has helped local employers affected by coronavirus retain their employees.
HMRC have also shared that the roll out of the SEISS in May has financially supported 30,200 self-employed individuals in Dorset affected by the coronavirus outbreak. In May, the Chancellor announced an extension of the scheme, with those eligible being able to claim a second and final grant in August of up to £6,750.
In May, Dorset Gateway teamed up with Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation to launch Crowdfund Dorset Business, which provides match funding of up to £5,000 for the self-employed and for small businesses to help them keep trading and bounce-back from the effects of COVID-19.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “The UK Government is doing everything we can to protect jobs and businesses in Dorset and across the UK during the crisis. Our unprecedented job retention and self-employment support schemes have supported the livelihoods of millions and will help ensure our recovery is as swift as possible.”
Finn Morgan, Dorset Gateway Manager, concludes: “While it has been a hugely difficult time for local businesses, their employees, and the region’s large number of self-employed businesses, we are reassured that so many have taken advantage of the CJRS and SEISS schemes, as well as other national and local support measures.
“Business conditions continue to be extremely challenging and we continue to work closely with local and national organisations to support businesses in Dorset, across the county, to bounce-back from the unparalleled economic impact of coronavirus.
“We’ve seen a number of Dorset businesses showing great resilience during the crisis with many finding new ways of working, and many more benefitting from the support of the local community staying and shopping locally.”
The latest COVID-19 Guidance for businesses and the self-employed can be found on the Dorset LEP website http://www.dorsetlep.co.uk