Archive for September, 2020

Funding your business for the next 12 months.

Its going to be turbulent. There is a lack of certainty. Do you need to rethink your business finance?

Since Covid 19, financial arrangements are facing an unpredictable response from high street lenders, even when the relationship has been historically strong. Fearing the worst, many businesses are shying away from proactively communicating with their banks.

But don’t abandon the hunt for funds if the bank declines to help. Don’t become part of the “ discouraged borrower syndrome”

The key message is that it is time to rethink finance and seize the opportunities created by a changing market place.

Rethink your business finance taking into consideration recent Government help, Challenger banks such as Metro, Aldermore, Shawbrook and Redwood. Brokers can steer you in the right direction. Consider also Business Angels, Factoring, Asset Finance, Peer to Peer lending, Crowdfunding and Grants…….. Below are a selection of current grants available. These can be a nice add on!

Its important to make time to research the options to assist with funding your business during these strange times.


Business Growth Programme and Productivity Pilot

  • For help buying machinery, equipment and fit out/refurb of buildings but not the purchase of property.
  • BGP requires you to create jobs.  Productivity Pilot is focused on improvements in productivity with no net reduction in jobs.
  • Grants from £7.5K to £250K contributing up to 20% of total costs.
  • Minimum project spend £50K.
  • 12 months trading history required.


  • Aimed at businesses operating in digital and tech sector only.
  • Need 12 months trading history
  • At least 50% of sales are B2B.
  • Investing in at least £20K in equipment, refit, alteration or eligible fees.
  • Grants from £10K – £50K.

Digital Enterprise Grant

  • Capital grants from £2K – £12,500
  • Minimum of 50% contribution for projects from £4K – £25K.
  • Connectivity vouchers available up to £3K for cost of upgrading broadband connections.

Product and Process Improvement

  • For help buying machinery/equipment that enables innovation in business – example, you’ve identified a way of improving your end product but need a specific piece of equipment to achieve this
  • Grants up to £20K contributing 40% of total costs.

Access Innovation

  • Package of support available to help business access research based expertise to develop existing processes and products eg. working with Green
  • Research grants available up to £100K to help with 50% of the cost of collaborating with a research partner.
  • Capital grant pot also available to help fund 20/% of costs up to £100K ie. Max grant of £20K.

ReBiz programme

  • Grants up to £40K contributing 40% of total costs.
  • To be used to help businesses save money, material resources and carbon.
  • Includes a free efficiency audit and circular economy support, designed to help you get maximum value from your products and materials.

Manufacturing Growth Programme

  • Grants to provide access to expert advice to help you grow manufacturing businesses.
  • Access equates to 8 days across 4 months.  Also includes a capital grant element.
  • Includes help to acquire SALSA accreditation (Safe and Local Supplier Approval)

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

  • Micro Finance fund with loans from £25K to £100K delivered by Business Enterprise Fund.
  • Debt Finance fund with loans from £100K to £750K delivered by Mercia Fund Managers.
  • Equity Finance from £100K to £2M delivered by Mercia Fund Managers.


  • Aimed at high growth pre-start early stage business up to 3 years old.
  • Expert advice to help with planning, coaching and growth advice.
  • Must trade B2B.
  • Grants available from £50 to £2500 for start-ups assisting with set up costs (excluding working capital) eg. Office furniture, IT equipment, website design and development.
  • Grants available from £2.5K to £25K for business trading from 1 year up to 3 years to help with capital purchases.
  • Start-up loans available through Business Enterprise Fund from £500 – £25K.

Biorenewables Development Centre

  • Range of grant-based support available for businesses operating in the bio economy.
  • Support focusses on looking at ways to commercialise products and processes through a mixture of testing and research.

Spark Fund

  • Up to £20K of innovation grants to help you change your business, not necessarily the world.
  • Up to £50K for R&D funding.
  • Up to £50K for Low Carbon R&D funding.


  • Up to £5K grant available to cover 50% of cost when looking to attend trade shows.
  • Includes cost of flights and accommodation or legal and professional fees relating to international T&C’s / contracts plus more.
  • Plus, Enterprise Europe Network can help you find local partners and distributors in your chosen country.


  • Whether your business pays the apprenticeship levy or not, there is support available when taking on an apprentice.
  • An apprentice is not just a young, entry level person.

Gigabit Voucher Scheme

  • Any business can apply for support to upgrade their connectivity speed so that it is capable of delivering gigabit capability.
  • There is no application process as such with the process of being supplier lead.  Access support through the website and then find a supplier.
  • The discount has already been applied from £500 – £3000.
  • Potential applicants can apply together eg. Within the same building or business park so 5 businesses can obtain up to £25K of discount.
  • Business who trade from a home address can apply.

Skills Service

  • Wide range of training available for SME’s with 40% contribution from the grant if eligible.
  • Marketing, social media, management, business development, financial skills, H&S, law, manufacturing, construction, engineering skills all included plus many more.

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