Tuesday, June 22, 2021

News: Growth Hub outlines support available


As local businesses have been particularly hard hit by the global pandemic, the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) has responded by securing a further £9m into the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG).

The boost includes over £9m grant funding available across all sectors, with specific funding to help businesses ease out of the global pandemic.

The additional funding packages of support for South Yorkshire businesses includes:

- £4m to help growing businesses thrive
- £1m to boost existing business productivity
- £1.5m to support outdoor hospitality equipment – for venues such as pubs, restaurants, and hotels
- £0.8m towards digital innovation
- £2m Restart funding for the Culture and Visitor sector

James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “There is a wide range of support available to South Yorkshire businesses from funding for venues to be able to serve customers outdoors through to major grants for capital equipment and to enable businesses to invest in digital innovation. It remains a hugely challenging time for South Yorkshire businesses and the grant funding plus the support that businesses can get through business support advisors based at each local authority, is very much needed.”

The ARG complements the Renewal Action Plan (RAP), developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, which is led by Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership. The RAP has been developed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and sets out a roadmap for how South Yorkshire can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused.

In response to demand from businesses, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority has worked hard to secure a further financial boost to the schemes where there was most demand. As a result, South Yorkshire businesses who have continually been engaging with the authorities can now take advantage of a top up to the Capital Investment Scheme, which provides up to £100,000 with a maximum 50% intervention rate for new plant or equipment.

The call has gone out to businesses who have projects which can start immediately and be completed within six months. Large software implementation projects will also be considered but eligibility rules apply.

The Outdoor Hospitality Equipment Scheme is another new grant, which is available for this region’s business to invest in capital works and equipment to allow them to adapt to increase capacity for outdoor hospitality. This is part of meeting the Government’s roadmap to reopening and to increase outdoor hospitality options going forward. Businesses can claim up to £3K support for adaptations (for example, outdoor seating, decking, structures). Support is limited to one grant per premises.

A new Digital Innovation Grant is also available to provide support for businesses on introducing or enhancing digitisation. 100% grant funding is available up to a value of £10k.

Projects need to show clear added value, be part of a clear growth strategy and be targeted at growing the business through the adoption of digitisation.

The Business Productivity Scheme has also been reintroduced with funding from the Additional Resources Grant to meet demand from across South Yorkshire. Grants are for a maximum of £25,000 (includes 50% match funding).

The aim of this scheme is to support businesses in South Yorkshire to improve their productivity through the provision of a capital or revenue grant and to improve how they measure and report productivity gains. Whilst the project is initially looking to safeguard businesses and jobs, priority will be given to applicants that can best demonstrate how the investments will have a positive impact on productivity and the creation of potential new employment opportunities in South Yorkshire.

Grant awards will be 50% of eligible costs therefore the minimum size of the total project cost will be £5k, the maximum will be £24,999.

To further enhance the support available to businesses, Sheffield City Region has recently expanded its team of expert advisors by appointing a number of new Business Support Advisors who are based in each council. All these advisors have many years of industry experience; from manufacturing and service sector through to finance and international operations, and offer an independent, impartial perspective, which can make all the difference.

Businesses are advised to get in touch with the Gateway team in the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub to be guided through the range of support available to them.

Growth Hub website

Images: SCR Growth Hub


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