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As you will have seen from recent communications issued by Government organisations and world authorities, the COVID-19 pandemic is moving at pace and the likelihood of it impacting our lives and our businesses is increasing.


During these times, we want to ensure our community still has access to all the advice and support that you may need as a small business.


Where can I find advice and guidance on how to prepare my business and the support available?


The UK Government has a dedicated web page providing its up-to-date response to the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response


This also includes specific UK Government advice to businesses on how to prepare for the potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic and what support is available to businesses.


If you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership, you may be able to benefit from the new 'Self-employment Income Support Scheme' introduced by the government on March 26th. 


You can find the full details of the scheme as well as your eligibility here.


The support that the UK Government has pledged to help businesses include:


  • A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs;
  • A Business Rate Relief for small businesses;
  • Small business grant funding of £3,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance; and
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme.

Full details of these support packages and how to apply for them can be found here: 


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses


How can I contact the EIC and continue to access the support that it provides to Innovators?


Together with advice provided by UK Government, the EIC is following World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on COVID-19 workplace readiness.  As matters progress we may be required to reduce our EIC office presence or operate remotely.


If you’d like to contact the EIC or have any queries for us, please in the first instance write to enquiries@ukeic.com.  Your message will be dealt with by our team and we will make sure that it’s put in the hands of the person best placed to deal with it.


In addition, all of the below support tools can be found on the EIC Hub, and will remain available for you to access during this time:


  • Funding Opportunities: You can access all the information we have on available funding opportunities through our online Funding Finder. This can be accessed by logging into the EIC Hub through the above link. This tool gives you access to over 1500 grants and business loan opportunities that may be relevant to your business.
  • Testing Facilities: If you’re looking to test your innovation, you can access our online testing facilities map on the EIC Hub. You can browse the map or filter the facilities to your choice. The facilities are colour coded depending on what they specialise in, and each page will tell you how you can access the facility.
  • Support Guides: Also on the EIC Hub, we have a number of resources to help you navigate the complex energy sector. These include an Introduction to the Energy Sector and a Guide to Intellectual Property (IP).
  • EIC Listening Project: If you’re stuck in doors for a while, why not listen to our new podcast series, the EIC Listening Project?  We’ve got a number a number of episodes available on the EIC Hub, with guests from a range of organisations including Ofgem, Energy Systems Catapult and UK Power Networks.

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Innovation is potentially the single biggest challenge facing our industry partners. Our expert team have an extensive knowledge base, allowing us to consistently help our partners to address this challenge by enabling them to build a strong innovation culture within their businesses and to streamline their innovation processes.