If you own a small or medium sized business, it’s likely you’ll have thought about plans for expansion and the funding needed to take on that new contract, buy new equipment or deliver your services on a larger scale. A business grant is a great way to get access to funding where you may previously have struggled – and what’s more, the money is free!
Understandably, sometimes the jargon that comes with business finance puts entrepreneurs and business owners off, so here, our team of experts have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked business grant questions:
Why are business grants available? What’s the catch?
Put simply, there is no catch! Business grants are available for small and medium sized businesses operating in the East Sussex area. The money has been made available via the European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and the South East Business Boost. The ERDF aims to help economies flourish and invests in regions to enable growth and opportunities. The grants available mean if you fund 70% of the capital item’s cost, we can fund up to 30%!
What can I use a business grant for?
There are a number of potential uses for the business grants that are available including buying new equipment or machinery and investing in streamlining processes. You are not able to gain funding towards running your business as it stands, you must be able to prove that the item you’re applying for funding towards is going to help you grow your business and expand.
Examples of recent uses businesses have had for grants include a Hastings based Coach Company buying a new coach, and a bespoke furniture manufacturer, a promo company and an Arboriculturalist using their grants towards new equipment. You can read case studies from some of our recent grant success stories to find out more.
How much money can I get?
The business grant money has been made available so that up to 30% of the cost of a range of capital items can be funded. The amount you’ll be able to get varies dependent on certain factors, but the grants available range from £1000, right up to the sum of £10,000.The amount of funding each business can apply for is generally determined by the business’ needs and project. The whole application process can take as little as one month.
How do I know if my business is eligible?
There are a number of criteria your business should meet in order to be eligible to receive a grant. You can find out more about exempt industries and what your business should do in order to tap in to the funding available by visiting our grants page.
What happens during the application process?
Applicants will generally go through a three stage process. Initially, a business’ eligibility for the grant will be checked. If the applicant meets the criteria, then the project up for funding will be assessed. The final step involves filling in the full application – this is usually done face to face with a Business East Sussex advisor. This part of the process usually takes between 1-1.5 hours. This will then be looked at by the panel once submitted. No references are required.
Is there other business support available from Business East Sussex?
Yes! Our business support services extend beyond helping with access to finance. We can also offer access to business mentoring for applicants. Our team of experts can guide you through the application process for finance access, as well as advising on business growth and fulfilling large contracts.
How do I find out more or apply for a grant?
You can find out more at any time by contacting our friendly team of business experts. If you are a consultant supporting a business owner and would like to meet other businesses and the Business East Sussex team to find out about services available in East Sussex, you can register your interest in our Business East Sussex Connect event taking place in Eastbourne on November 7th. Please note, due to limited spaces for this event, the event will be invite only. Please register your interest by and one of our team will be in touch.
You can apply for a grant by contacting our team who will be able to guide you through the next steps.