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New fund announced by MP and LEP to support Havant businesses

16 December 2016

Budding entrepreneurs looking to start a business, and business owners from across Havant looking to grow by developing new products or services could be given a cash boost following the announcement of a new £250,000 business support fund by local MP Alan Mak and the Solent LEP.

The Havant Business Support Fund will offer capital funding to local entrepreneurs, individuals and SMEs either as a grant, loan, forward-funding or equity-share basis. The fund, proposed by Mr Mak, has been established by the Solent LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) through the Solent Growth Deal.

This new fund aims to support businesses and start-ups with high growth potential and businesses seeking to develop new products and enter into new markets.

It will also offer support to individuals  who are interested in starting a new business and small (SME) businesses facing challenging trading conditions following recent economic challenges in the Havant area.

Businesses will be able to apply for between £10,000 and £75,000 from the fund to contribute towards projects that will unlock additional investment, improve business productivity and support local jobs.

Mr Mak has been working in Westminster to promote small businesses in his role as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship.He said:

Backing our local economy is my top priority as MP, and I am delighted to announce this new fund to support local people who want to start a business or expanding an existing one. Having worked on the idea for the last 18 months, I wanted the Fund to give businesses and entrepreneurs the cash boost they need to turn their ideas into reality. Coming from a family of small business owners, I know that sometimes the only thing holding back growth is an injection of new money, which is where this new fund could help. I encourage anyone thinking of starting up a business in the Havant Borough to apply for funding.

The LEP have worked hard alongside me, and I thank them for their commitment to Havant’s economy. We both want to see new firms grow and develop, creating more jobs in the area. We are especially keen to hear from people who might be affected by the Pfizer wind-down, as this fund could be the perfect catalyst to help people launch their own business.

The Havant Business Support Fund was announced at a special event at Langstone Technology Park on Friday, with an official launch taking place in the New Year.

Richard Jones, Head of Policy, Communications and Partner Engagement at the Solent LEP said:

The Solent LEP has invested significantly in the Havant economy through the Solent Growth Deal in recent years, with £4.5m funding unlocking the development at Dunsbury Park, and over £450,000 invested in the Havant SME business base to create jobs in the area. The £250,000 Havant Business Support Fund announced today will bring our investment in the Borough to over £5m and we hope to be able to support many existing businesses, as well as enable new businesses to start up, through the fund.

Further details on the Havant Growth Fund, including how to apply, are available here.