Since the support package for employees was announced last week, GBGB has been proactively urging the government to expand the  financial assistance available to the self-employed.

Within British greyhound racing, self-employed individuals make up a significant part of the industry, including our greyhound trainers and veterinarians. GBGB therefore welcomes the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday regarding the support package which will be offered to many self-employed workers.

The Chancellor has announced a new self-employed income support scheme whereby the government will pay a taxable grant of 80% of many self-employed individual’s profits up to £2,500 a month from the beginning of June. The payment will be calculated using average monthly profits over the last three financial years. This is similar to the support provided by the Government to ‘furloughed’ employees.

In order to highlight what support packages are available, both to the self-employed and to employers and employees, GBGB has compiled an advice document: Government measures to support businesses during the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Where they have not already done so, everyone working in the sport are advised to read the government’s Covid-19: Support for Businesses guide.

Akin Yilmaz, Director of Finance at the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, said:

“We have been closely following the most recent government announcements and encourage everyone working with our sport to check carefully to see what assistance they may be eligible for. In order to make this process as easy and straightforward as possible, we have put together a support document, which we hope is helpful in signposting everyone – from SMEs to the self-employed – to the grants and exemptions available.” 

Mark Bird, Managing Director of the GBGB, added:

“While the support package for the self-employed is welcomed, there obviously remains a short-term need as this support is not accessible until June. We will therefore continue to work with representatives across the sport to secure the right assistance for employers, employees and the self-employed in the short term. 

“As a priority, to safeguard the welfare of our greyhounds, GBGB has already announced a contribution to our licensed trainers that will go towards meeting the basic needs of their greyhounds, totalling £3.50 per week per dog. Likewise, we are pleased that many tracks have stepped up to provide similar contributions to help support their attached trainers.

“We hope that in a few weeks’ time we will be in a position to review the suspension of racing, as per the government’s statement. Nevertheless we know these welfare payments need to be sustainable should we be in this position for many months. As everyone knows, we do not receive funding via a statutory levy from bookmakers but as a Board we have saved and planned for this eventuality and these contributions will prove vital to some trainers where urgent assistance may be required.

“Ultimately, we know that this is an incredibly challenging time for everyone across our sport, who will be concerned for their staff and families but who also want to ensure the very best welfare provision for their greyhounds. Over the coming weeks we will be doing all we can to provide support and advice to them through this time and to respond to the ongoing updates that come from the government.”