Over 4,500 members of the UK's startup ecosystem have petitioned the government to do more to protect early-stage companies, which are highly unlikely to qualify for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
The S.O.S Petition (Save Our Startups) has outlined three areas the UK government should prioritise during this crisis:
- Providing an equity-based (rather than debt-funded) liquidity package suitable for startups.
- Expediting payments to startups out of existing public funding schemes, such as R&D tax credits and grants.
- Amending SEIS, EIS and VCT legislation to increase upside for institutional investors during this period of uncertainty.
While some of the proposals may not be particularly controversial as they are indirect uses of taxpayers' money and based on pre-existing arrangements, there have been calls by some in the venture capital community to ensure that full consideration is given before the government begins to take direct stakes in startup companies which may have long-term effects on the health and attractiveness of the sector.
That said, the S.O.S Petition is just one of many calls to action from the UK's startup community and we will provide further updates as announcements are made.
Three point plan outlines what needs to be done to protect Britain’s startup and high growth businesses