Slipped through the cracks: forgotten small businesses

A Lancashire man’s business has been left struggling after being unable to claim coronavirus relief funding from the Government. 

John Carruthers’ business, Brierley Street Auto Valet was established in January last year, just two months before the pandemic hit.

In March 2020, like many small businesses across the country were forced to close, but John was not able to access any of the Government’s funding schemes as he did not meet any of the criteria.

John said: “It’s almost like I’ve slipped through the cracks.

My business hasn’t been established long enough for me to apply for furlough, but its also not eligible for anything else.

I’ve spent the past year or so living off my savings.”

The Government has announced a number of schemes to help businesses with financial difficulties, but as John proves, all bases haven’t been covered.

“This last year has been full of uncertainty and it’s certainly been difficult.

“I’m fortunate to be in the position I am where I’ve had savings, and I use my son’s property to operate from, but it has been a hard year.”

The Government is introducing the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) which has a less stringent eligibility criteria and may finally allow John to get some financial aid.

This scheme however will only come into effect in May 2021, which for some businesses, may be too late.