New support organisation Excluded UK launches to bring together individuals and businesses left out of UK Government Covid-19 financial support

Business / Fri 29th May 2020 at 07:40am

New support organisation Excluded UK launches to bring together individuals and businesses left out of UK Government Covid-19 financial support

EXCLUDED UK is a new organisation set up to create a collective platform for individuals and businesses entirely or largely excluded from the Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures. Excluded UK was founded on the principles of inclusivity and positivity, in order to help propel affected individuals and businesses forward in the face of adversity resulting from Covid-19 and being excluded from meaningful government support.

Based on statistics provided by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Business Population Estimates (BPE) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is estimated that 3 million individuals across the UK are excluded from government support, accounting for 10% of the UK’s workforce.

A rapidly growing movement, Excluded UK has amassed 2.4k followers of its Facebook group in a mere fortnight, bringing together an active and engaged community from across the spectrum of those excluded.

From those in between jobs or due to start new jobs after 19 March, the newly self-employed and new businesses, the self-employed with either low or + £50k net profits, those in less than 50% self-employment, those on parental leave, those on PAYE freelance short-term contracts, low investment startups, small limited company owner-directors, businesses ineligible for grants…
The list goes on.

As the country heads into a new phase of track and trace, as the gradual easing of lockdown measures begins, with the phased return to work and as businesses begin to resume operations, millions of individuals and businesses remain left behind and excluded. Many have faced little to no income or revenue for the last two months, with no prospect of change on the horizon.

As inadequacies in government responses to Covid-19 continue to come to light, Excluded UK will seek to play a crucial role in facilitating support and assistance to individuals and businesses on multiple levels, both for now and into the future.

The aim of Excluded UK is to build a stronger platform, raise awareness, lobby for support, raise funds for legal challenges and awareness activities, and to help enable the changes that are needed for the excluded.

One of the key objectives of Excluded UK will be to fundraise, partly through crowdfunding but also through other fundraising initiatives, in order to develop a fund that will seek to benefit those who need it most.

Alongside this, Excluded UK will seek to raise broader awareness of those in need through lobbying to put continued pressure on the UK Government.

Excluded UK was founded by three small business owners Anneka Hicks, Sonali Joshi and Aron Padley.

Sonali Joshi said, “Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways we could never have imagined – from many aspects of daily life, to mental health and well-being, to financial hardship. While the Government’s financial support packages have been broadly welcomed, too many individuals have been excluded and are in critical need of financial support, with the continued prospects of an extremely harsh future in the months ahead. Livelihoods and businesses are at stake. We are part of the fabric of our communities and are a vital part of the nation’s economy. However, in order to emerge from this crisis, those currently excluded need crucial support in line with existing measures that others are benefitting from.”

Anneka Hicks comments, “Having found myself excluded from support schemes and facing my third month with less than 20% of my normal personal income, the impact of this is being felt throughout the chain, from our suppliers and customers, self-employed and freelancers we work with, through to those employees we were about to take on who we’ve been unable to furlough.

“It’s been heartbreaking to discover just how many hard working UK taxpayers are finding it impossible to put food on the table and cover their overheads. Some of our members are facing long term unemployment and the imminent collapse of their livelihoods and lifelong careers through no fault of their own. We are passionate about building a community that would be able to support each other by sharing ideas and resources, and spreading awareness, with the intention of being able to provide new opportunities, and business/employment support as we develop further.”

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