Don’t miss out on funding for growth, adviser urges expanding firms

Oct 22, 2014

Stephen Eames (pictured), regional managing partner of international accountancy firm Mazars, said businesses, especially SMEs, need to take advantage of the many sources of financial support and grant availability open to them if they want to succeed.

“SMEs tend to cite lack of finance as the major obstacle to growth but there are an increasing number of schemes on offer, many with backing from the public sector, which are worth checking out,” he said.

“Small and medium-sized firms often fail to consider alternative finance routes because of time pressures and fears over mountains of red tape.

“But it is well worth persevering especially as financial organisations are now much more conscious of the need to help cut through such obstacles.”

It has become easier to access the information, said Mr Eames highlighting how entrepreneurs need only go to the websites of SEMLEP and Buckinghamshire Business First to find details.

Examples of schemes worth exploring include:

  • Regional Growth Fund, a £2.6 billion fund which operates across England and is designed to support projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to deliver sustainable employment and economic growth.
  • The Government recently announced an £82.5 million student-loan style initiative for young entrepreneurs planning to start a new business. It will enable young people who choose not to go to university to access low interest loans to help them launch a company.
  • Growing Places is a sustainable fund which allows organisations to apply for funding to invest in capital projects, including land, property and infrastructure, which unlock economic growth and create jobs.
  • Low Carbon Workspaces Grants A match funded grant of up to £5,000 is available to SMEs to support the installation of energy efficiency measures.
  • Eco Innovation Grants Grants of up to £3,000 are available to contribute towards activities such as marketing campaigns, websites, attending exhibitions, and marketing.
  • Velocity Grants Match funded grants of up to £10,000 to help businesses in the Aylesbury Vale District to grow. The grant can be used for any expenditure that will create and safeguard jobs, such as sales and marketing, back room systems, improving productivity, recruitment and expansion.
  • The Aylesbury Vale District Council Golden Welcome Grant scheme has been established to attract investment into the area, with up to £25,000 available.
  • Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board, fund, supports and connects innovative firms looking to take a new idea to market.

  • The European Investment Bank offers a range of R&D funding opportunities.
Mr Eames said: “In my view not enough businesses look to take advantage of what is a very significant range of potential support.

“Here at Mazars, we are keen to help SMEs explore these initiatives – there is money there to enable you to take the next step up whatever your size.

“Yes, there are hoops to jump, but applying successfully is not as difficult as some might think.” 

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