The economy of Ludlow and Shropshire is dominated by small businesses. Many people work in micro-businesses, those with less than ten employees. At the last count, there were 14,355 micro-businesses in our council area. That’s 91% of all our enterprises in Shropshire.

Many working in these businesses are self-employed. They were initially ignored by the government but a £9bn support scheme is now in place. It has strict rules and will not help those businesses that did not submit a tax return in 2018-19 because they had just been established.

I have received a lot of desperate pleas from local micro businesses. I hope this scheme will help. Let me know how it works out.

Applications have opened this morning for the £9bn coronavirus support package for the self-employed, with “first payments” expected on 25 May.

You can claim here.

The scheme has opened weeks earlier than initially announced. It will see self-employed workers being paid up to £7,500 as a lump sum for three months’ income. There are a lot of conditions.

You must have traded in 2018/19, submitted a tax return and intend to trade this financial year.

Your trade must have been adversely affected by coronavirus due to shielding, self-isolating, on sick leave because of coronavirus, have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus.

And or you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because your supply chain has been interrupted you have fewer or no customers or clients your staff are unable to come in to work.

You can claim here.

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