Our local D2N2 Growth Hub adviser Alison North sends out a monthly update to keep local businesses aware of any local support. See below for the latest news.

The Growth Hub help in a number of business areas. Please contact Alison for more information:

Website

Phone: 0115 804 4032

Email: Alison.North@nottscc.gov.uk

Financial update

Businesses often contact us to understand more about what grants and loans are available.  We take the time to understand more about your business and the project you have in mind.  As a result, we only recommend the most appropriate areas to explore, saving you time and maximising your chance of success.  We’ll also work with you on your application to ensure it’s the best it can be.  And, best of all, our services are completely FREE.  So, get in touch, we’re here to help you.  

In the meantime, here’s a few tasters:

NBV’s Grant for Enterprise is one of the few grants that can support Business to Consumer (B2C) businesses which offer a service (not retail).  It can also support B2B businesses and is currently available until 31 March 2022.  Offering grants of £1K-2.5K for projects between £4K and £10K.  The application process is online, meaning it’s quick and easy.  Find out more.

The Capital Growth Fund (CGF) has reopened to applications.  The CGF could pay 30% of your B2B investment (minimum project spend of £5K) on any eligible capital expenditure up to a maximum grant of £10K.  It’s a simple 2-stage process: an initial expression of interest (EOI) and then a full-scale application.  To be eligible, you need to capitalise the equipment (showing on your balance sheet) and create at least one job.  I’m currently supporting a business to get a £4.5K grant.  The application process is online and the decision-making process is streamlined.  Find out more.

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) has recently been extended and you can now put in an application until 30 June 2022.  The scheme provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic.  You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business and can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth. However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes.  The minimum term-loan is just over £25K but some of the other financing options start at £1K.  Some of the scheme criteria are changing in January, with the maximum loan amount and the government guarantee both reducing.

If you’re looking for help with managing your debt and improving your cash flow, the British Business Bank has just published a useful guide that could be really helpful.  Find out more.  We’ve just launched an investment readiness programme for companies, Road to Raise, which will help firms get ready to attract equity or business angel investment.  Talking of which, the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) includes both debt and equity finance options, government-backed schemes trying to address access to finance.  Specifically their Small Business Loans are designed for micro businesses and SMEs needing debt finance for a wide range of purposes including filling gaps in working capital, funding expansion projects, leasing commercial premises and asset acquisitions.

If you want a wider view on funding, you may be interested to hear that the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has recently launched a new interactive tool to track UK government funding announcements.  The tracker has been developed to help partners, policymakers, and others to navigate the complex and evolving landscape of government funding more easily by collating information on funding in one place.  Find out more.

 

Skills and Recruitment

Always hot topics and fundamental areas for your business’s success.

  • Digital Skills Bootcamps – Free courses to enhance your digital skills, for anyone aged 19+, covering a broad spectrum of subject areas.  Find out more.
  • Skills Access Hub – A newly launched, European Social Fund (ESF) funded project that provides a ‘one stop shop’ for local businesses wishing to close skills gaps through training, recruitment, apprenticeships and placements.  Find out more.
  • Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) – Leadership and management skills to drive productivity, growth and competitiveness.  FREE short courses are on offer, supporting employees with their own growth and development in the areas of communication, team working, delegation and problem solving.  Find out more.

 

Resources for businesses at our libraries

If you have a Nottinghamshire library card, you can access lots of data and other useful online tools.  This includes access to an extensive range of databases, equating to £5m of online resources.  One resource that you might find useful is the GrantFinder database where you can input details of your project and investigate whether there may be any funding out there to support it.  They are also extending their in-person services at more libraries.  Find out more.

 

Peer networks

Don’t forget that you can still register for the second round of this government-funded scheme.  These are facilitated group discussions with like-minded businesses where you can discuss and resolve issues of mutual interest.   We’ve received truly excellent feedback from the first set of sessions.  Take a look at our video testimonials  or check out our case studies.  Your business must employ at least 5 people, have a turnover of £100K p.a. and have operated for at least one year; other eligibility criteria apply.  Find out more and register.

 

The Climate Emergency

With the recent COP26 conference, there’s lots of focus on reducing carbon emissions and operating more sustainably.  We’re hoping that new initiatives will come along to help businesses and will keep you updated.  Next month, there will be a more extensive feature on this subject but, in the meantime, this will give you a flavour of what’s currently on offer:

  • The University of Nottingham’s Energy for Business scheme offers product research and development, business support and capital funding to firms throughout Nottinghamshire.  They can also signpost you to other opportunities.  So, you can find out more from the experts and maybe get some financial help along the way.  It’s a win-win.  Find out more.
  • Nottingham Trent University also has a new scheme: Sustainability in Enterprise.  SiE focuses on 3 key areas of business performance: process, premises and design.  Help is available to firms in and around Nottingham through both the students and the academics.  They can help with advice, consultancy and grants.  Find out more.
  • Accelerating Reduction in Carbon (ARC) – The ARC project helps SMEs in Greater Nottingham to decarbonise by providing carbon reduction advice and a grant programme to help you reduce your company’s carbon emissions.  Find out more.
  • Sustainable finance – HSBC have recently created a £500m fund to help companies decarbonise.  Other banks will probably announce similar ventures in the future.  Find out more.

 

Beyond Brexit

The Export Support Service is a new helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. The service is a ‘one-stop shop’ and brings together UK government information, making it easier for exporters to access advice and support.  You can access the Export Support Service online or by calling 0300 303 8955.  Going global?  You can also find support and information about exporting to countries outside of Europe.

 

Making a Local Splash

A number of the District Councils are currently offering additional support:

  • Ashfield – Business growth grants for manufacturing and transport & logistics businesses have been extended until December.  Between £6K and £10K is on offer to Ashfield firms improving their efficiencies and/or workforce.  To be eligible, you need to create at least 3 jobs (£2K per job created) and your business must have been adversely affected by the pandemic.  Find out more.
  • Bassetlaw – A scheme is currently being developed.  I hope to include further information in next month’s newsletter.
  • Gedling – The Additional Restrictions Grant is still open.  This fund provides financial help to businesses that were affected by the pandemic, whether or not they were forced to close, and can also help businesses without premises.  Find out if you’re eligible.
  • Mansfield – MDC continues to offer a whole suite of business grants.  As these are financed through MDC’s own funds, the grant intervention rate is more generous (50%) than other schemes.  Grants are capped at £2,500 per applicant over a 12-month period.  Find out more.
  • Newark & Sherwood – N&SDC has its own Business Growth & Resilience programme.  Covering 4 key sectors in the district: manufacturing and construction; accommodation; health & social care; and retail, food & beverage sector.  Industry experts offer 1-2-1 workshops and mentoring sessions to review your business model, direct you to training opportunities and more.  There’s also a discretionary grant of up to £2,000.  They are currently seeking accommodation providers for their cohorts starting in January and March.Find out more.

 

 

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