Entrepreneurs and businesses owners are being encouraged to turn their ambitions into reality by tapping into a £160,000 European-funded small grants scheme.
Lincoln BIG has urged people running micro, small and medium-sized businesses to take a close look at The Collaboration 4Growth scheme, which offers grants of between £1,000 and £5,000, together with advice and support
Lincoln BIG is leading on the European Regional Development Fund-backed project, in partnership with Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Business Lincolnshire. Together they are keen to use the new funding to help drive up the fortunes based in the City of Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven.
Charli Whittaker, Lincoln BIG Project Manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this funding opportunity. It allows successful applicants to benefit from 12 hours of free business advice and use grant money for either revenue or capital projects.
“These grants provide 60 per cent of the total cost of an individual project – with the match-funding provided by the business.”
Businesses have the scope to apply for a helping hand to pay for equipment, such as tools, machinery or accounting systems. Grants may be used to pay for consultancy services, including the drawing-up of a marketing plan, a business growth plan or to fund IT projects.
However, there are restrictions – grants cannot be used to pay for vehicles, salaries, travel and a business’ essential running costs.
As administrators of this fund and in recognition of the time constraints faced by many small businesses, Lincoln BIG and its partners have devised an easy route in to checking whether a business’ project or idea qualifies for support.
“Initially, we ask an applicant to fill in an “expression of interest. This allows our staff to carry out a detailed check to see if their project meets the eligibility criteria. If it does, we ask them to make a full application, and supply three quotations relating to the proposed expenditure,” Mr Whittaker added/
Applications are then assessed, before being considered by the Grants Panel.
Any business interested in the Collaboration 4Growth grant can complete an expression of interest form here.