Global Diversity and Positive Action (GDPA) is a charity based in the heart of Huddersfield city centre. The charity’s main aims are to empower and rehabilitate young people. Through the cosy community coffee shop and fantastic meeting space the charity has been able to support many in the local community. Unfortunately, since the announcement of lockdown the café and meeting spaces have had to close.

However, thanks to the chancellor’s £330bn package of support for businesses GDPA has been able to re-invent itself to survive the current climate.

Sharon Jandu who is the founder of GDPA told Asian Sunday:
“Our community café was doing really well until we had to close it. Safety for us was especially important. It was really worrying and disheartening that we had to close and let our community down, but thanks to several initiatives we have hope of surviving”

Over the past year the space created by GDPA at 9 Ramsden Street, has been a welcome part of Kirklees, as it has offered opportunities for young people to come and gain support, advice and through many of the training schemes learn new skills.
Thanks to the Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief grant they have been able to do that and have been saved from closing.

There is a wide range of financial support available to firms of all sizes. For more information visit:

The funds have helped pay overhead costs and helped the charity restructure so it can adapt to the current rules of lockdown and be able to open with service users safety and social distancing at the heart of everything they do.

“We have managed to quickly adapt by turning the place into a hub with kiosks, where people can book in advance and continue getting that advice.” Said Sharon

“At the back of the premises we have installed a 75inch interactive smart screen, which will enable people to book and conduct virtual meetings. We hope to continue being able to serve the community by assisting with financial literacy as well as digital inclusion.
“The digital enhancements will also mean we can continue supporting women of BAME background with skills and confidence building.”

In addition to the government funding GDPA have also been able to secure devices from the Good Things Foundation, which they will be giving to vulnerable members of the community.

Sharon concluded that if it weren’t for these initiatives, and a little bit of innovation she doubts GDPA would have been able to see a way forward.

Check out the simple business support finder to see whether your business is eligible for financial support:

The government has introduced a range of Business Support Packages. Here is some information that might help.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Businesses across the UK can put employees on a period of temporary leave (furlough) and apply for a government grant to cover 80% of those workers’ usual monthly wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 a month.
  • The scheme is now available until the end of October.
  • The scheme has already protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme allows eligible self-employed individuals to claim a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 in total. Around 95% of people who receive the majority of their income through self-employment could be eligible.
  • To benefit from SEISS, you need to receive at least half of your income from being self-employed and be earning under £50,000 in profits.
  • You can use HMRC’s eligibility checker to see if you could benefit from the scheme.

Statutory Sick Pay:

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

VAT Deferrals

  • The Government has given the option to defer VAT payments to UK VAT-registered firms, for payments due alongside VAT returns until the end of June. If you’re a UK VAT-registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to either defer the payment until a later date, or pay the VAT due as normal.
  • HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred.

Business rates holiday and eviction protection:

The Government has introduced a business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and nurseries, meaning eligible properties in England will pay no business rates this year. This relief is worth almost £10 billion. [Note: business rates are devolved so this applies to England only – the Devolved Administrations have their own schemes and will receive Barnett consequential funding.]

  • Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.
  • The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) provides businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each of their properties which is in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief. This scheme is only applicable in England.
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) provides businesses with grants of up to

£25,000 per property, for each retail, hospitality or leisure property with a rateable value below £51,000. This scheme is only applicable in England.

  • Local authorities are contacting eligible businesses directly to arrange grant payments. If a business believes they are eligible and has not yet heard from their local authority, they should get in touch with them to ask about these payments.
  • On 1 May, the Government also allocated up to an additional £617 million to local authorities to enable them to make discretionary grants to small businesses in their communities, which have been excluded from the SBGF and RHLGF because of the way they interact with the business rates system. This only applies in England.
  • Businesses are encouraged to look out for their local authority’s version of the Discretionary Grants Fund, and to contact their local authority for more information in due course. This only applies in England.


  • The Government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme provides loans of up to £50,000 to small businesses, with an 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online with a short and simple form.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available for loans or other forms of finance of up to £5m.
  • The Government will pay interest and any fees for the first 12 months, and will provide the lender with an 80% guarantee to support the lending.
  • This scheme is available UK-wide.
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses with an annual turnover of over £45 million per year to apply for up to £25 million of finance.

Future Fund:

The Future Fund will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

If your business needs to hire now, there is help available to fill your vacancies quickly.

Keep job descriptions as generic as possible to make sure you don’t miss out on great people with transferable skills.

Visit: to find out more.