There are many European and UK-wide government business grant schemes in addition to local funding and grant programmes and schemes provided through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and other business support providers. Many of the finance and support schemes for businesses can be found on the government website.
Business grants are available at both a local and national level and are usually sector specific. The value of the grants on offer is generally between £1,000 and £100,000 for SMEs, funds for larger businesses can be unlimited with EU state aid.
With a grant you don’t pay the money back. All applications go through a due diligence process by the scheme delivery partner and there are clawback terms in place where claims are falsified in respect to expected outputs set by the grant scheme.
Applying for Grant Funding
There are typically two stages to go through when applying for a grant
- Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to ensure your business and grant application meets the scope of the scheme
- A full application whereby you may need to supply market research, a business plan and 1-3 years of financial forecasts.
Throughout the process, your application will need to be able to justify there is a business need for the grant, not just why you want funding. This for example may be how many jobs it will create / safeguard, improve processes, open up new markets etc.
As commercial finance brokers and business advisors we are able to provide advice and support in helping you to access both local and national grant schemes.
Applying for a grant or subsidy can be a drawn out process, if you require finance quickly it may not be the right option for your business. We can advise you on different finance options that may be available including asset finance, business loans and invoice finance should you need to to funding prior to grants being drawn down. It’s also worth noting that grants are generally not paid in advance, but when a project or intervention has been completed.
Accessing Business Advice / Grants
Business advice and support
Whether you are pre-start, a new start or an established business, there are regional Business Growth Hubs across the UK whereby you can obtain free or funded advice. We offer specialist business support and start up finance.
Skills and development government grants
The Education and Skills Funding Agency oversees the apprenticeship scheme. Many regional Universities, Colleges and further education organisations offer a multitude of subsidised short courses or funded degree level programmes.
If you are a business within a rural development area and looking to grow, invest in infrastructure, machinery or seek specialist advice to diversify. The government provides a number of rural grant and payment schemes.
This is an area which is increasingly supported through grant schemes. Therefore if you manufacture textiles, specialist tooling, operate in the digital market, within the nuclear supply chain or need support for international trade, or manufacture in many other sectors, there is most likely to be a grant scheme that your business can access.
Innovation, Research and Development
Innovate UK, offers support and funding to help businesses develop new products and services and bring them closer to market, this may be to bring people together to share ideas, tackle challenges and make new technological advances.
Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are the starting point for businesses looking for grants, one of their main functions is to generate economic growth and many have their own grant programmes apart from being able to signpost businesses to relevant organisations.
The Recovery Loan Scheme
The Recovery Loan Scheme is the government scheme to help UK businesses affected by coronavirus to access finance. Finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, such as managing cash flow, investment and growth. It is designed for businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes