It’s no secret that it’s been a tough time for businesses recently. The Government has been attempting to help businesses, smaller ones especially, to recover from the economic effects of coronavirus with a series of measures.
Amongst these is a new £20 million fund that small businesses can access for grants for new equipment, and specialist advice.
What are the grants for?
The funding comes from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It’s intended to help businesses by giving them access to grants of between £1,000 and £5,000, which can be used in one of two ways.
Adapt or adopt new technology
Some businesses need to make changes to the way they operate in order to survive the pandemic and its recovery. The grants can be used to purchase new equipment or software to help businesses adapt to the changes.
Access specialist professional advice
The grants can also be used to access support from professional services that can help a business. The funding enables businesses to get help from the following sectors:
Getting help with finances
Getting help with your finances is of course advised anyway, but during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s now more important than ever. Having a professional accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor on hand will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
They will direct you on the best practices of maintaining cash flow, keeping up with invoices and missed payments and also making cutbacks to expenses. If you are in need of additional finance, you may be able to get some much-needed advice and perspective on the best support schemes to apply for.
How do you access the grant?
The Government has divided this grant between 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) which have been given a pot of at least £250,000 to establish a grant programme. These LEPs will allocate the funding to local Growth Hubs which work across the country, providing local business support.
The first step to applying for funding would be to find your nearest Growth Hub. You can do this on the LEP Network website. Once you’ve found your local hub, you will be directed to the relevant website which will have an application form for you to fill in.
When is the grant paid?
The grants will be awarded by 28th February 2021 at the latest. Simon Clarke MP 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.”
If you have been affected by COVID-19 and want some advice, visit our COVID-19 Business Support Centre. This is our information hub full of FAQs and tips for getting support through the pandemic.
Talk to one of the team about our online accountancy services by calling 020 3355 4047, using the live chat button on screen, or requesting a call back.
About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.