Four new grant funds are available for small businesses in Lincolnshire to help the recovery from the impact of coronavirus.
They’re coming from a £12 million support package from Lincolnshire County Council, subject to full council approval on February 19.
Although the scheme is open to businesses with less than 50 employees, the council is particularly keen to receive applications from those with less than 10 employees.
Here’s an overview of the grants:
Business recovery fund
This scheme is for small businesses who have not been able to access any of the government grants to date.
The fund launches for applications from 12pm on February 23 until 11.59pm on February 25. Application criteria is now available.
Businesses can request an amount dependent on their circumstances:
- For new businesses registered less than 12 months with losses greater than £1,000 – applicants can select a fund of £2,500 or £5,000.
- For established businesses registered more than 12 months with losses in profit greater than 30% – applicants can select a fund of £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000.
One application per business is allowed. More details here.
Digital voucher fund
This scheme is for supporting businesses in improving digitisation, including new technology such as ecommerce platforms, contactless payment systems, website developments, software development, IT hardware and software to support remote working, digitisation of processes.
The minimum funding amount is £1,000 and the maximum funding amount is £5,000. 100% of project costs can be funded, including irrecoverable VAT if the business in not VAT registered.
The funding is also able to provide a contribution to a larger project where the applicant is able to pay any remaining costs over £5000.
The expression of interest window will open between March 8 and 12.
The application criteria will be published on March 1. More details here.
Invest for the future grant
This grant is to contribute towards business expansion. Types of project can include:
- new investment in property infrastructure,
- buildings and refurbishment costs;
- plant, machinery and equipment;
- IT and new technology.
Grants of between £25,000 and £75,000 are available to provide a maximum of 25% of funding. (Minimum project size is therefore £100,000). The applicant will be required to provide the other 75% of project funding.
Projects must commence within 3 months of the award of funding.
The expression of interest window will open between March 15 to 26.
The application criteria will be published on March 8. More details here.
Rural business grant
This scheme is for businesses and organisations with projects specifically in rural areas.
Businesses can apply for between £3,000 and up to £25,000 grant towards a maximum of 75% of the total project cost. Up to 5 expenditure items per grant application can be added, but the total grant cannot exceed £25,000.
Projects must be completed within 90 days of the award of funding.
The expression of interest window will open between March 8 and 17.
The application criteria will be published on March 1.
The application window may close early, if the council receive grant requests exceeding the amount of funding available. More details here.
Councillor Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy at the county council, said: “We have been providing advice and guidance to Lincolnshire businesses throughout these times and helping them access national grants.
“However, with many small businesses exhausting their cash reserves and not being eligible for government support, we have gone further than this in Lincolnshire, providing them with direct help.
“These grant schemes have been pulled together quickly and carefully to enable support to be targeted where it’s absolutely needed. It’s vital that we help as many businesses as possible to recover from the struggles of lockdowns.
“I’m pleased that councillors today (Wednesday) have recognised that the council has managed to do this because of the way we have managed our finances. We are the envy of many other areas of the country where action like this is just not possible.”
Katrina Pierce, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Lincolnshire, added: “Lincolnshire County Council have recognised the agony and frustration that so many business owners have faced since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“They have created a significant and properly-targeted package of support that will not only help those who need urgent help, but will also help stimulate growth and digitisation across Lincolnshire to aid local recovery from this crisis.”