The Goldsmiths’ Company and Charity have today announced the details of its £1 million fund – the Goldsmiths’ COVID-19 Fund – to support individuals working in the jewellery, silversmithing and allied industries, helping them through a period of hardship and sustaining the craft, skills and future of the industry, during an unprecedented period in most people’s lifetimes.
The Goldsmiths’ Company and the Charity are inviting individuals who are self-employed, sole traders, or running micro-businesses employing four people or fewer (including the applicant), to apply for a grant, an interest-free loan, or both, by completing an online eligibility questionnaire.
Applicants must live and work in the UK, work primarily with precious metals and be able to demonstrate that they are in financial difficulty because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Grant applications are open from today (April 21) and successful applicants will receive £1,500 (in installments).
Anyone who wants to apply for a loan is being asked to register their interest by completing the Goldsmiths’ COVID-19 Industry Survey, the initial results of which will help determine the structure and value of the interest-free loan scheme, which will be made available in May.
Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, Timothy Schroder, says: “We know that the wider community of people in the trade are finding this period very challenging, with some facing extremely difficult conditions. Many silversmiths and jewellers are either sole traders or small employers with little or no financial reserves, and in current circumstances it is impossible for them to make a living. Makers cannot source precious metal; even if they have it, they can’t get their goods hallmarked; and quite apart from that many of them depend on retailers or on fairs to sell. And most of these are currently closed or suspended. So, they are, or soon will be, in a very difficult place.
“That is why the Goldsmiths’ Company and the Charity have set up the Goldsmiths’ COVID-19 Fund, to provide support to those in our trade that need it most, whether they are a member of the Goldsmiths’ Company or not. Our purpose is to contribute to national life by supporting our craft, trade and industry and through wider charitable and educational activity, and we will continue to do our very best to support people who are facing the greatest hardship, as we have done for almost 700-years.”
In these unprecedented times, the Goldsmiths’ Company Charity team aims to turn applications around in days rather than weeks, with applicants likely to wait no longer than two weeks, from submission of their application to receiving funds in their bank accounts, if successful. However, timeframes will be adjusted dependent on the volume of applications received.