April 25, 2010 by oswestrychamberoftrade
[Source: Shropshire Council – LINK]
Shropshire Council has set up the Shropshire Business Enterprise Fund to provide grants to businesses in response to the current difficulties faced by businesses in obtaining finance from banks and other lending institutions, and to counter the impact of the recession in Shropshire, including the high level of empty shops.
The Shropshire Business Enterprise Fund offers businesses distinct grant schemes:
Retail Business Grant
This scheme aims to encourage the uptake of small retail premises in Shropshire which have been vacant for 6 months or longer and have a rateable value of less than £15,000. Check rateable values by following the link to the Valuation Office Agency below.
The grant is in two parts and businesses can choose to apply for one or both:
a) Business Rate Relief
Eligible businesses can claim 50% off their business rates for 12 months, to a maximum of £1,000. The discount will be applied after any other discounts e.g. Small Business Rate Relief.
b) Capital expenditure
Up to £1,000 can be applied for to purchase capital items for the shop e.g. shop fittings, signage. 50% match is required from the business.
Business Start-Up/New Business Grant
This scheme is to support those starting up a new business which is not yet trading, or businesses which have been trading for less than 9 months. Capital grants of up to £1,500 are available for one off items including machinery, equipment, website construction. The scheme requires businesses to contribute a level of their own resources into the start-up.
Business Booster Grant
This scheme aims to promote business growth, sustainability and development of existing small Shropshire businesses that have traded for between 9 and 36 months. Capital grants of up to £5,000 are available. The scheme requires the business to contribute an amount of funding equal to the size of grant. This fund is open to small to medium sized businesses (enterprises) excluding retail businesses.
All of the grants are entirely discretionary, the emphasis being placed upon the business to demonstrate that the grant is needed. The grant process is competitive, meeting all the criteria is not a guarantee of receiving a grant offer.
Grants are for items that have not yet been purchased. Expenditure of grants can only be incurred once you have received a formal grant offer letter. The grant can not be used for retrospective payments made prior to this.
Businesses interested in applying to the fund should familiarise themselves with the criteria attached. Please note that Start Up/New and Booster grants share one set of guidance notes and one application form.
Businesses that feel they could meet the criteria should contact the Business Support Officers on the numbers below for a discussion. Application forms will be sent to interested Businesses after the initial discussion has taken place.
Funding rounds run once a quarter. The deadline for the next round of funding is Friday 9th April 2010 Subsequent deadlines will be in July 2010, October 2010 and January 2011.
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