Together with our partners from across the social economy, we welcome the recent Government announcement that £85million is being released in a significant step towards saving the sector, in response to our recent sector campaigning for urgent intervention.
Over 1,000 businesses, including The Co-operative Group, have signed a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him to act to protect the UK’s social enterprises. Research shows that, without action, half of the sector could run out of money by June – putting one million jobs at risk, including many held by society’s most vulnerable people.
At the daily briefing on 20th May, Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced that the Government will be unlocking £150million from dormant bank and building society accounts to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals during the coronavirus outbreak.
- £45million to allow better access to investment, including emergency loans for charities, social enterprises facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading following the coronavirus outbreak
- £30million for blended finance packages through the Access Foundation, to support social enterprises helping people in vulnerable circumstances, up to £10million of which will be made available for emergency support through social lenders.
- £10million to help organisations which support unemployed, disadvantaged young people into work. The Emergency Levelling Up Youth Fund will support young people from the hardest hit communities and the existing Development and Impact grants programme will be expanded to rapidly increase youth employment provisions.
Social enterprises are the first responders to hard-hit communities recovering, pivoting to deliver the most urgent social need at this time. This announcement comes just in time to support these organisations, and will make a huge difference to those who receive it. However, there is more still to do to deliver the full package needed to ensure the UK’s most valuable organisations survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Along with our partners, we have outlined four clear policies that are the quickest and most effective ways to save the sector, and we continue to push for their delivery.
Commenting on the announcement, Lucy Findlay MBE, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC said:
“We are pleased to see that our collective efforts and campaigning as a social enterprise sector are at last being rewarded. It’s great that the government has listened, and we now have some finance measures that will help social enterprises survive and do what they do best – helping to build back a better economy and society for the future.
“We see this as the first step in the Government recognising the vital importance of supporting the sector to survive this crisis.”
Mark Norbury, Chief Executive of UnLtd said: “We are pleased to see the government recognising the crucial role that social entrepreneurs play in sustaining our communities. This financial package is a welcome move to boost a sector that contributes £60bn to the UK economy and works for and by the most vulnerable in society. There is still more to needed to ensure social entrepreneurs are able to make it through this pandemic and we look forward to further steps from the Chancellor.”
To find out more about the measures announced, visit the Gov.UK website.