New grants to combat credit crunch

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New grants have been announced for South West businesses, to help combat the economic down-turn, according to the grant-funding specialist at Bishop Fleming, the accountancy firm with the widest spread of offices throughout the South West.

Ewan McClymont, Bishop Fleming’s head of grant-funding, said:  “Most South West companies remain unaware of substantial grants for which they qualify – and those grants have now been changed.

“For example, the South West’s capital grant fund, Selective Finance for Investment, has been replaced by a new scheme – Grant for Business Investment, with a view to encouraging growth, innovation, productivity and skills in South West businesses,” said  McClymont.
 
For companies in Cornwall, he points out that one of the first Convergence funded schemes to be announced – the Graduate Placement Project – incorporates the Unlocking Cornish Potential scheme with the aim of supporting almost 800 graduates and post graduates into Cornish businesses over the next two years.
 
The Government has also launched a £25m fund for Women’s Enterprise, which will be jointly funded by the private sector and is the first of its kind in the UK.
 
Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, has launched a new £30m fund to help emerging technology companies to reach their full potential. The Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) will provide equity finance ranging from £500k to £2.0m for early stage SMEs.
 
“In response to the credit crisis, the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) has announced plans to launch a £10m loan fund for a small number of ambitious businesses that are unable to secure loans from commercial banks,” said McClymont.