Get a small business grant
A grant is a sum of money given to an individual or business, for a specific purpose.
Usually it only covers an element of the total costs involved. However, as long as you keep to all terms and conditions, you will not have to repay it.
Getting any financial support can be very difficult as there will be strong competition and the criterions for eligibility are rigorous.
Here we will try to help you understand where to go, what you need to do and also provide a few helpful tips on how to improve your chances of qualifying for a grant.
Where would I get a grant?
The main sources are:
• The Government
• The European Union
• Regional Development Agencies
• Local Authorities
• Local Councils
• Local Development Agencies
What types of grants are available
The most common grants are:
• Grant for Business Investment (GBI).
This is available from the government which is for obtaining key assets such as buildings, machinery and equipment, also to help create new jobs or safeguard existing ones.
• Innovation, research and development.
This grant is available to small businesses through Regional Development Agencies to try and encourage investment in innovation, research and development.
• Solutions for business.
This is a set of publicly funded support products and services designed to help businesses start, grow and succeed.
• Skills and training.
This helps you identify skills needs for your business and enables source training to meet the needs. It’s called ‘The Train to Gain’ service and operates regionally.
How eligible am I?
There are a number of factors which would affect your eligibility for a grant.
The four main factors are:
Each of the UK’s countries has their own range of grants available. Some countries get extra grants depending on circumstances such as high unemployment or social deprivation.
Local authorities could also offer additional grants for local businesses.
Most grants are limited to small or medium sized businesses. Some are only eligible depending on its turnover or number of employees.
All applications for grants are inspected by the European Commission as funding can be limited and subject to restrictions in some industries.
• Purpose of the grant
Grant bodies prefer to see specific targets and results, which should often be compatible with their set objectives.
Grants tend be awarded for the purpose of the building, purchasing equipment or employing staff.
How do I apply?
Preparation and planning is imperative to a successful application. Here are a few points you should consider:
1. It is important that you know every little detail you could possibly know about your proposal.
2. Identify exactly what your business idea is, how you intend to start up and what your expansion plans will be. It is also worthwhile putting together a business plan to ensure you cover all areas.
3. Identify both the advantages and the disadvantages of your business idea – consider how you can turn the disadvantages into opportunities.
4. Put together a detailed work plan with full costing – you should be prepared to put your own money into the idea in addition to a grant.
5. To guarantee that you apply for the right grant, it’s advisable that you get in touch with a consultant at your local Business Link.
6. Your application will be assessed on significance, the need for the grant, approach and innovation. It may take up to year for a decision, so you must be patient.
7. If you’re ineligible for a grant however, it is may be worth you taking a look at what other support there is available such as, loans.