The Gloucestershire Growth Hub, which has been established since 2014, is the leading, fully funded business support service available to all businesses across Gloucestershire. It has a wide business network across the county and has effectively supported the growth ambitions of more than 6000 businesses in the county. Since the pandemic, the Gloucestershire Growth Hub has been working hard to provide direct, fully funded support to businesses who are working through the impacts of Covid-19 and who are now looking towards recovery as the county starts to get back to business.
On the 3rd of July, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, announced that communities will have access to financial support as part of the extensive economic recovery plans across the country.
In the last few days the Gloucestershire Growth Hub team has confirmed an allocation of £464,655 and has decided to best support the county by distributing the allocated funds to as many applicants as possible with an estimated grant size of £3000 per business.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision to award £3000 grants, Alex Cottrell, Growth Hub Manager said
“Currently we have over 1000 businesses that have registered an interest in the grants. This is totally understandable given the current circumstances and the pressures that business continue to face. This does present us with a key challenge as we know that the funding that we have been allocated is likely to support about 150 businesses. We have to distribute the available monies in a way which reaches as many businesses as possible whilst providing enough financial assistance to make a real difference to their recovery options. We also want to ensure that the allocation of funds is shared equally throughout the county.”
The Growth Hub is estimating the approval of up to 150 grants, representing a success rate of 15% of the 1000 businesses who have registered an initial interest. Speaking of this, Alex continues:
“As we start to release further detail around some of the grant eligibility criteria, we may see the actual number of applications reduce. But taking a steer from what has happened across other Growth Hub areas we don’t expect this to be the case.”
Ministries for Housing, Communities and Local Government and (MHCLG) have outlined the criteria for business who may apply, with the key criteria listed below, and a full list of available on the Growth Hub website at https://www.thegrowthhub.biz/grants
- Businesses must be based in Gloucestershire.
- Business must be fall under the SME definition – less than 250 employees and less than 50m turnover.
- Business must have started trading before 1st March 2020.
- Business must be able to demonstrate the impact of Covid-19.
- Business must show how the grant allocation will support recovery plans.
Eligible grant applications will include activities including
- Purchase of specialist consultancy/advice.
- Purchase of minor equipment that supports the adoption of new technology/business processes in order to continue to deliver or diversify business activity in response to COVID-19.
- Purchase of minor equipment that supports the adaptation of existing technology/business processes in order to continue to deliver or diversify business activity in response to COVID-19.
Speaking of planned timings for the grant process, Alex advises
“Now that the grant has been approved, we are putting in place the systems to open and administer the applications. As such, we hope to open invitations for the grants at the end of September. All successful applicants will then be notified and instructed to go ahead and purchase the planned support activity. Once the applicant has paid for the support and provided required evidence of this, the grants will be released. The whole process has to be complete by the end of March 2021 so we are doing everything we can to make the programme as simple to use and efficient as possible.”
Do you need a recovery plan now?
Whether you are eligible for this grant or not, the Gloucestershire Growth Hub is fully equipped to offer your business effective business consulting and support to help you with your COVID-19 recovery plans. You can access up to £1500 of fully funded business support tailored to your specific needs, via a mix of dedicated consultant support, online workshops and events, all free to growing Gloucestershire SMEs.
The Gloucestershire Growth Hub has supported more than 6000 businesses since they opened their doors in 2014. From solo entrepreneurs to multimillion-pound companies, Growth Hub clients have been able to become bigger, better and bolder and put their growth plans into practice.
Why wait? To start your Growth Hub journey simply visit www.growthhub.biz and take a look at what our teams can do for you now.