The new Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme is set open for applications from local businesses next week.
The grant aims to help businesses in their Covid-19 recovery and applicants will have to provide details of how they have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The grant, which opens on Wednesday September 2, can be used to fund specialist professional advice such as accountancy, HR, legal, financial or IT support. It can also be used to purchase equipment or new technology in order to continue to deliver or diversify business activity.
Grants of up to £5k will be available through two previously announced funding schemes. One is specifically aimed at tourism-related businesses, while the other is open to any small or medium-sized business impacted by the pandemic. With a total combined value of £1.44 million and anticipated average grants of £3k, the Scheme is expected to support around 480 businesses.
100% of the money will come from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially. As with other ERDF funded schemes, businesses must be based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly and be a small or medium enterprise.
As part of their application, businesses will have to provide a quote for any work or purchases they intend to fund, and work must not have started on the project or goods been purchased. If successful, the business will need to pay for the work or goods and then claim the money back once the project has been completed.
Applications will be submitted via the Growth Hub website and, with the expected high demand for the grants, will be assessed and awarded in the order they are received. After receiving the first 250 fully completed applications the online portal will close whilst these applications are processed. If any unallocated funding remains, the website will open again for another period of time.
The grant funding is being managed on behalf of Government by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub. The Growth Hub provides free and impartial help to businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, signposting them to business support and advice.
Operations director Stu Anderson said: “When COVID-19 first hit we had a huge number of calls from businesses who were being impacted by the outbreak.
“These grants are to help businesses to get back on their feet, supporting the purchase of equipment or technology, or get professional advice to help them get their business back on track.
“We are expecting a huge demand for the grants, so we strongly encourage businesses to prepare now by researching the best investment for their business and sourcing quotations to submit with their application.
“We expect to be very busy when the grants open after the Bank Holiday so our team will be online in the first instance to answer questions on our website and social media to help people through the application process. There is also a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on our website with videos and guidance documents which you can read through right now.”
To find out more about the Covid-19 recovery grants visit ciosgrowthhub.com/business-grants.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.