An extra £20m of funding has been made available for small businesses in England that have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Here’s everything you need to know, and how you can apply for the grant.

What is available to small businesses?

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has announced that grants ranging between £1,000 and £5,000 will be made available for small and medium sized businesses in England.

The grants are available via Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and their Growth Hubs, with the support fully-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund – this means businesses do not have to contribute towards the grant or make any repayments.

At least £250,000 will be made available to each participating LEP; the Government has also promised to review this figure once the initial grant fund is delivered.

Using the grant

The grants should be used specifically for the purchase of minor new equipment and technology that helps a business continue delivering its usual activity or to diversify in the wake of the pandemic.

They can also be used to hire advisors who can provide specialist advice to support a business’ recovery following the impact of the pandemic – whether that’s in the form of HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital. The grants cannot, however, be used to fund normal business activities e.g. formulation of year-end accounts and payment of tax bills but we believe that they can be used, for example, to fund specialist support in producing cashflow forecasts required for CBILS.

The value of the grants awarded will be tailored to each LEP’s individual circumstances and will typically be up to £3,000 in value. In some special cases, grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded.

Applying for a grant

To find out more about this new grant scheme and how you could use the income to improve your business, please get in touch with your Champion advisor.

You can find out more – and apply for the grant – by contacting your local area Growth Hub, with Champion available to support you through the process.