Coast to Capital release £2m fund to help SMEs through COVID-19
The Chair of Coast to Capital LEP, Tim Wates, outlines below how the LEP is directly helping SMEs to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.
Businesses across the globe are facing an exceptionally difficult set of circumstances. Government have recently set out an unprecedented funding package to help with operating costs and employee retention, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses particularly hard and we are seeking to mitigate the impact across our area. Our Board and team have been working to support and protect our industries and in response, we are launching the Coast to Capital #BackingBusinessGrants.
We are making £2 million available to help small businesses and social enterprises. So if you are based in West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, or East Surrey, have a workforce of between 5-50 and have been trading for over two years with an annual turnover of under £10 million, you can apply for a grant of £5,000 - £25,000.
Applicants need to implement one or more of the following measures:
- Adapt your operations to remote working. This might include acquisition of computer hardware or software or other physical measures to support the separation of staff and deliver sustained operations;
- Evolve your business model to boost and retain cash-flow. This might include firms which are no longer able to sell directly to customers and need to add new delivery or marketing functions;
- Innovate your business model to meet the new demands of consumers during the COVID-19 scenario.
Find out how to apply here.
Our expert team aims to meet the needs of the business immediately, with quick decisions and rapid deployment of money. Our Growth Hub will also be actively involved during and post grant award to offer any business support requirements.
We will continue to work hard to support businesses across our area, and hope that the fund will provide some much needed relief for a number of you. We appreciate that there is limited funding available at the moment, but we are working to secure more funding to support industries across the area. Whilst the grants are currently restricted to our current geography, we are hoping to extend this further in the coming weeks.
- For businesses in the Coast to Capital area which includes West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and East Surrey (Epsom and Ewell / Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge, Mole Valley) only.
- The grant will be for a minimum of £5,000 and a maximum of £25,000 and to be deployed almost immediately.
- The grant is available for all sectors, however we will be particularly interested to receive applications from businesses working in the sectors in which our economy has been particularly impacted by recent economic events (i.e. aviation and aviation supply chain, tourism, hospitality and leisure and the service economy).
- The business should have a workforce of 5-50 (full time equivalents) and have a turnover of no more than £10m.
- The grant awarded does not have to be matched funded and can be for 100% of the cost of the investment or used with the businesses own funds to deliver the proposed outcome(s).
- The application for grant funding will be online.
- The grants available for this are currently limited to £2m and therefore will be distributed on a first come first served basis due to the urgency of deployment.
- Coast to Capital’s decision on all grants will be final, there is no appeals process outside of the normal complaints policy which can be found on the Coast to Capital website.
- The grant funding can also be used to procure any professional assistance in order to introduce measures to adapt, evolve and innovate in their proposals.