Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has today (30 July 2020) announced.
Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.
It comes on top of an unprecedented package of Government support to help businesses to recover, including the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme which will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country, as well as £1.6 billion invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP said:
We have always said that we would stand behind our businesses and communities as we rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding does exactly that.
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.
Today’s announcement builds on a £10 million package announced by the Minister earlier this month to help to kickstart the tourism industry and support the visitor economy.
The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.
- The support will be fully funded by the Government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.
- The funding being provided to businesses is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund in England. For more information visit (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/england-2014-to-2020-european-structural-and-investment-funds)
- The funding has been allocated to Growth Hubs within each LEP area in line with the current ERDF Programme.
- To establish a viable grant programme, Government have set a minimum of £250,000 for all LEP areas. The allocation of resources will be reviewed as the grant fund is delivered.
- Growth Hubs work across the country with local and national, public and private sector partners – such as Chambers of Commerce, FSB, universities, Enterprise Zones and banks, co-ordinating local business support and connecting businesses to the right help for their needs. They are locally driven, locally owned and at the heart of the government’s plan to ensure business support is simpler, more joined up and easier to access.
- Activities supported through the £20 million can include:
- One-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus,
- Grants (£1,000 – £5,000) to help businesses access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital, and to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.