The British Fashion Council (BFC) said on Friday that it’s launching a new £1 million Covid Crisis Fund to support designer businesses and students during the Covid-19 outbreak.
In addition to the £1 million emergency funds, to be distributed via a new Covid Crisis Fund, they are also launching a fund raising drive and calling for support from both the Government and industry, so that more businesses can be supported at this time.
The new fund has been made possible through diverting the existing BFC grants that usually go to support early stage and growing fashion brands. In light of the global disruption caused by coronavirus, and inevitable cancellation of fashion weeks and showcases, the funds can be better allocated to help designers during this critical situation and support the creative talent of the future
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the BFC, said: “Now more than ever, we are committed to support the businesses and people that make up our industry. With the BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund and the donations raised, our hope is to support those British businesses that need additional subsidies, beyond Government stimulus available, to address their most urgent challenges.”
The crisis has seen creative businesses fighting on several fronts. BFC calls for support for liquidity in the form of grants or long-term low risk loans that address retail cancellations and sell-through guarantees and in turn will help businesses address disruption to supply chain[s] and a potential domino effect of failure.
It’s also asking for rent holidays for offices and stores to further protect employment.
Application criteria include:
- Applicant must have an established designer fashion business.
- The collection should consist primarily of womenswear, menswear, accessories, millinery or fine jewellery – not bridalwear or childrenswear.
- The business must be UK based and be registered with Companies House or as a sole trader.
- The business should be majority-owned by the Designer / Creative Director & not have had any substantial outside equity funding.
- The grant money requested should relate to a clear purpose to support the business survival over the next year
Applications for funding from the new BFC Foundation Covid Crisis Fund will open within the next 7 days and close on 10 April 2020.