Addressing the press in the daily COVID-19 briefing, Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) has launched a £1.25bn support package for innovative firms hit by the pandemic.
The package includes a £500m Future Fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, while small to medium enterprises (SMEs) focusing on research and development will receive £750m in grants and loans.
The Future Fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5m from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment.
These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company’s next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if not repaid.
To be eligible, a businesses but be an unlisted UK registered company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third party investors in the last five years.
Sunak said: “Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation.
“Our start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths, and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis.
“This new, world-leading fund will mean they can access the capital they need at this difficult time, ensuring dynamic, fast-growing firms across all sectors will be able to continue to create new ideas and spread prosperity.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma, said: “The UK is a world leader in innovation and at this hugely challenging time, we know that young, fast-growing firms require tailored support to see them through.
“This wide-ranging package delivers important help that will protect some of the most dynamic sectors of our economy.”
Daniel Hegarty, founder and CEO of Habito, added: “As a start-up and the UK’s leading digital mortgage company already helping the millions of homeowners and would-be homeowners affected by the coronavirus crisis across the nation, we welcome the Chancellor’s new support package with open arms.
“We’re already seeing start-ups adapting, pivoting and innovating at pace to help both customers and industry stakeholders navigate this time of uncertainty and I have no doubt businesses like ours will be key to helping stabilise the economy in the coming months.”