Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.
The grants can also be used to businesses access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital expertise to help them get back on track.
Activities supported through the £20m can include one-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus.
The nature and value of grants awarded will be tailored to local circumstances, and will typically be up to £3,000. Under certain circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded.
The funding is being provided to address immediate needs and all grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021 and all activity fully completed by 31 March 2021.
Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government, said: ‘Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild.
‘Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive.’
The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund, with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.
Grants will be distributed through Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England, and can be offered to smaller businesses in all industry sectors.
A minimum £250,000 has been allocated to each local area to ensure an effective grant programme is in place everywhere. The allocation of resources will be reviewed as the grant fund is delivered. In addition, the take up of allocations will be reviewed in three months’ time to ensure it is meeting demand.