During the pandemic, government and council grants provided a massive helping hand to millions of businesses and self-employed individuals. With both furlough and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) both ending on the 30th September 2021, many people are unsure as to what grants are still out there to aid them in their business journey.
Grants are different to loans in that you won’t have to pay anything back once the application for grant has been accepted. There are of course different qualifying criteria depending on each grant in order to be accepted, with some grants only offered on the basis that you must also invest the equivalent, or certain, amount in your business.
We break down some of the government scheme grants that could really boost your business and set you on the path to success…
Startup Business Grants
These types of grants are geared towards businesses who are just beginning their journey and provide a generous steppingstone in starting out:
New Enterprise Allowance – The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is one of the government’s primary policies in supporting unemployed people to start their own business. The NEA offers practical and financial support to people in those who want to start their own business and currently in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, or those on Income Support who are also a lone parent, sick, or disabled. It consists of a combination of business mentoring, a weekly allowance, and a business loan. Applications for the NEA are made through your JobcentrePlus sites.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund – Ranging from grants worth £3000 to the millions, the National Lottery offer an extensive collection of business grants for the heritage and nature sector. There’s the Cultural Recovery Fund that provides emergency funding for cultural businesses who have been affected by COVID-19, to capital grant schemes targeted towards businesses who restore and enhance nature.
Innovate UK – Funding opportunities to test ideas and develop innovative products and services. This government backed funding scheme is part of the ambition to put the UK at the forefront of technology, science and innovation on a global scale. From the Made Smarter Innovation scheme which improves the resource efficiency and energy efficiency of manufacturing processes in factories, to the Farming Innovation Programme which aspires to improve the overall productivity, sustainability and resilience of farming and agriculture in the UK. You can find a full list of the Innovate UK funding schemes and programmes here.
Help To Grow Scheme – This scheme is designed to improve and harness management skills which can take you and your business to the next level. Part of the scheme is the Help To Grow: Digital, which potentially could grant your business a discount of up to 50% towards the costs of buying approved software, worth up to £5,000.
These types of grants are for more specialist schemes and topics including making your business more sustainable and greener as well as more technology and software-based initiatives.
South East Business Boost (SEBB) – Offering grants to SMEs within the South East area who are looking to achieve growth and expand, the SEBB can reimburse up to 30% of the costs of qualifying projects to support business growth, enable job creation, and assist with the introduction of new products and services. It also provides free business support to start-ups and SMEs within the South East Local Enterprise Partnership area which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent and Medway.
TALE Programme – Funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), the TALE (Transport & Logistical Efficiencies) programme funds projects that use data analytics as part of a logistics function. Grants can contribute up to 40% of your total project spend, with your company funding the other 60%. Your project spend can include elements of capital, revenue, software and consultancy costs.
Plug-In Grants – Introduced in 2011, the Plug-In Grant provides a discount on buying brand new low-emission vehicles. Not all low-emission vehicles will get a grant. Only vehicles that have been approved by the government are eligible for a grant which include cars, motorcycles, mopeds, small vans, large vans, taxis, and trucks. The maximum grant available for cars is £2,500. The grant is automatically calculated by vehicle dealerships and manufacturers when purchasing directly through them, therefore there is no application process to complete.
Apprenticeship Grants – Hiring an apprentice has more benefits than simply training and developing a young person during the foundation stage of their careers. If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year, you won’t pay the apprenticeship levy, meaning you get 95% towards the cost of training and assessment for your apprentice. As well as this, the Kickstart Scheme was introduced for businesses who create new job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. You can get 100% of the living wage for 25 hours a week for a total of six months, along with pension and National Insurance contributions.
The government’s business finance support hub provides an extensive list of all the types of business support and grants available.
We hope this has outlined to you what some of the available business grants are on offer for you and your business. If you require any further information on any government grants, loans or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.