Local Council Business Grants
As Regional Growth Fund Grants have now expired as of 31st March 2017, we are yet to be advised by HMRC or Close Brother Plc as to whether there will be more to come in the future. Whilst this avenue of funding has now closed there are still local business funding schemes to be allocated through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) or through local authorities and organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce. However there were 512 registered schemes as the last count! So a good place to start your research is on the government website.
Business grants are available at a local and national level and usually sector specific. They offer between £1,000 and £100,000 for SMEs, but funds can be unlimited for larger businesses within EU state aid programmes. The Business grants and funding available to U.K small businesses http://smallbusiness.co.uk/financing /government-grants/
With grants you don’t pay the money back. However, it’s worth nothing there will be clawback terms if you falsify claims in respect to expected outputs set by the grant scheme. Therefore, ensure your application is captivating and through as it will go through a due diligence process.
Normally there are two stages, submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to ensure your business and grant application meets the scope of the grant call and then a fill application process whereby you will need to supply, market research, a business plan and at least 1-3 years of financial forecasts.
It is always worth getting a second opinion regarding the feasibility and strength of your application against the grant objectives and any regional strategic economic plan. Therefore speak to your accountant, a local business advisor or the Growth Hub, or indeed myself Steve Moorcroft (Finance Director).
The larger grant opportunities can be competitive and therefore be a long-drawn-out process, taking several months in some cases to receive just an offer. So if you are looking for subsidies and money quickly a grant may not be the right solution for your business.
Note each U.K region may have a focus on specific business sectors, business sizes and locations, as eligibility can be even post code specific.
Take a look at the government business funding support finder website - https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support