£20m support fund for small businesses announced
SMEs will now have access to an additional support fund with grants of between £1000 and £5000 to enable them to access equipment and technology to diversify or continue in business.
The grant can also be used to access specialist finance and business advice from HR, accountants, IT providers, consultants and more. The £20m fund can be used for support sessions, for example, to access guidance on how to respond to the coronavirus.
Support fund aims
The aim of the grant is to support immediate needs for businesses. Grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021, with all activity fully completed by 31 March 2021.
The amount provided will be based on local circumstances but will typically be paid out up to £3,000. Grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded on a case-by-case basis.
Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government, said: “Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild.
“Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive.”
Support fund distribution
The England European Regional Development Fund will provide the support, with no obligation for businesses to also contribute financially. The grants will be distributed through Growth Hubs, which can be found in local areas across England and will be awarded to businesses in all industry sectors.
Each Growth Hub area has been allocated a minimum of £250,000 to ensure that effective support programmes are in place. The fund will be reviewed in three months to review whether local support is meeting demand.
Accessing support fund information
The European Regional Development Fund Programme is providing the additional £20m in its final year, six years after it was established in 2014. For more information on Local Growth Hubs by the LEP Network, please click here.
Support with Cardens Accountants
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