Small Richmondshire businesses can apply for a helping hand from a £60,000 cash pot set up by the district council.
The authority has allocated the money – to be spent over the next two years – to its Small Business Grant scheme, which aims to offer financial support to businesses to implement changes or improvements which will either increase turnover or create new jobs.
Each business can apply for up to £1,000 – or 75% of any project cost.
Last year the scheme helped 35 businesses with a number of projects – including building new websites, employee training and skills development, marketing materials, IT equipment to enable sales to be made online, and business specific equipment.
“I am delighted the District Council is able to continue to help small businesses with a cash boost in return for them coming up with new ideas to improve their turnover and potential for employment,” said Coun John Blackie, leader of the Council.
“It was a huge success in its pilot first year in 2013 – and is a particularly appropriate scheme with the District’s very high percentage of small businesses and self employed people.”
The funding, which comes from the Council’s Small Business Rate Relief allocation will be open for businesses from October 1. Businesses must meet the following criteria:
- they must be located within the boundary of Richmondshire
- they must employ four or less full time equivalent employees
- the maximum grant available per business is £1,000
- they should be solvent with a maximum of £25,000 in their business reserves
- both existing and new/start up businesses are eligible to apply this year
- they must have a Business Bank Account
Initially applications will be considered by a Grant Panel of Officers with recommendations then passed to the managing director, leader and deputy leader of the Council for a final decision.
The scheme will run from October to October in each year, closing in October 2016 or earlier if all of the funding is allocated before then.
Applications will be categorised into five geographical areas – Central, Garrison, Lower Wensleydale, North Richmondshire and Upper Dales – with each area having £6,000 available to allocate within the first three months to ensure an equitable spread of grant across the district.
This will be assessed in the New Year and if take up is not achieved the ring fence will be removed and the scheme opened to all businesses which satisfy the criteria.
“For a limited period the five area partnerships we have established in Richmondshire each receive an allocation of the fund – hopefully this will ensure a fair spread of projects both in the towns and in the rural areas of the district.
“I call upon businesses to hurry up and get your application in before all the fund is spent,” added Coun Blackie.
The criteria and application form will be available to download from www.richmondshire.gov.uk shortly – search Small Business Grant Scheme 2014-15 for further information.
Any business wanting to discuss a potential project in detail should contact Samantha Coultish, Business and Community Support Officer on 01748 901037 or Samantha.Coultish@richmondshire.gov.uk