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Solent LEP launches SME Restart and Recovery, and Kickstarting Tourism Grant Fund

09 November 2020

We are inviting applications from small businesses for round two of the Restart and Recovery & Kickstarting Tourism Grants

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the visitor economy and wider economy can access grants of between £1,000 - £3,000 (and up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances).

The money can be used to cover 100% of the cost of professional services and, in some instances, to purchase minor equipment or adopt new technology to diversify.

Our announcement follows the success of the first round of the fund, which saw close to £100,000 allocated to small businesses across the Solent area, and we have now broadened the criteria to ensure more businesses are able to apply.

SJ Hunt, the Chair of the Solent LEP Business Support Taskforce, said: “The new national restrictions represent a further challenge for small businesses at the end of an incredibly difficult year. Many rely on the visitor economy and we hope that this fund will provide some immediate support, as well as helping wider businesses to diversify and start trading online.

“I am pleased that we are able to launch a new round of this funding today, which will enable even more businesses to secure support, and are working to ensure that this forms part of a wide-ranging package of support in these unprecedented times.”

To be eligible for the fund, you must be an existing SME with at least one year’s trading history. All funds will be allocated on a competitive basis, providing the strongest bids with funding. All information in relation to the fund is available here

We are encouraging any small businesses interested in the funding opportunity to attend a webinar on 13 November to receive further guidance. To take part in the webinar being held between 11.30am and 12.30pm, sign up here.

The deadline for applications for this funding is 11.59 pm on 23 November 2020.

Examples of eligible expenditure on professional services include:
• Review of the business strategy
• Strategic review of business models
• Development of recovery plans
• HR, financial and legal advice
• Coaching and mentoring in leadership and management development / Change management
• Innovation strategy to adapt and diversify products/services
• The introduction of new technology
• Developing or revising marketing/digital strategies to reach new markets
• Mitigating the impact of social distancing measures
• Rebuilding a viable business model
• Developing product offerings
• Legal and environmental health compliance
• Skills analysis and development plans
• Workforce management
• Employee engagement, welfare and wellbeing

Examples of potentially eligible expenditure on equipment (where a Covid-19 related impact can be demonstrated) could include:
• IT hardware to support home working (excluding [the replacement of existing] PC/Laptop and mobile phones)
• Software to enable secure remote working
• Online sales/purchasing platforms
• Equipment for remote working including desks, chairs etc.

• Cloud based storage
• Website creation / development


European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £407,341 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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