Solent: LEP has grants for small businesses

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is inviting applications from small businesses for Restart and Recovery and Kickstarting Tourism Grants.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the visitor economy and wider economy can access grants of between £1,000 – £3,000 (and up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances).

The money can be used to cover 100% of the cost of professional services and, in some instances, to purchase minor equipment or adopt new technology to diversify.

The announcement follows the success of the first round of the fund, which saw close to £100,000 allocated to small businesses across the Solent area, and the Solent LEP has now broadened the criteria to ensure more businesses are able to apply.

SJ Hunt, chair of the Solent LEP Business Support Taskforce, said: “The new national restrictions represent a further challenge for small businesses at the end of an incredibly difficult year. Many rely on the visitor economy and we hope that this fund will provide some immediate support, as well as helping wider businesses to diversify and start trading online.

“I am pleased that we are able to launch a new round of this funding today, which will enable even more businesses to secure support, and are working to ensure that this forms part of a wide-ranging package of support in these unprecedented times.”

To be eligible for the fund, you must be an existing SME with at least one year’s trading history. All funds will be allocated on a competitive basis, providing the strongest bids with funding. All information in relation to the fund is available now at https://solentlep.org.uk/small-business-recovery-grants-erdf/

The Solent LEP is encouraging any small businesses interested in the funding opportunity to attend a webinar on November 13 to receive further guidance.

The deadline for applications is November 23, 2020.