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Government Grants

The government grants section has a wealth of articles and advice on how UK small businesses can get a grant from both the public and private sector, along with helpful guides on the different types of business grants and funding available to business owners starting and running a business.

A small business grants guide for 2017

Here, Peter Fleming takes a look at a range of options for funding your business through grants this year.

There are many European and UK-wide government business grant schemes; there are also local business funding schemes provided through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) or through local authorities and organisations such as the Chambers of Commerce. However there were 512 registered schemes at the last count! So a good place to start your research is on the government website.

Business grants are available at a local and national level and usually sector specific. They offer between £1,000 and £100,000 for SMEs, but funds can be unlimited for larger businesses within EU state aid programmes.

With grants you don’t pay the money back. However, it’s worth noting there will be clawback terms if you falsify claims in respect to expected outputs set by the grant scheme. Therefore, ensure your application is captivating and thorough as it will go through a due diligence process.

Normally there are two stages, submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to ensure your business and grant application meets the scope of the grant call and then a full application process whereby you will need to supply, market research, a business plan and at least 1-3 years of financial forecasts.

Throughout the process, you will need to justify there is additionality i.e. not just the reason why you need funding, but by obtaining a grant, how many new jobs you will create, if you’re opening up new markets or export opportunities or that your idea could be a game changer.

It is always worth getting a second opinion regarding the feasibility and strength of your application against the grant objectives and any regional strategic economic plan. Therefore speak to your accountant, a local business adviser or the Growth Hub.

The larger grant opportunities can be competitive and therefore be a long-drawn-out process, taking several months in some cases to receive just an offer. So if you are looking for subsidies and money quickly a grant may not be the right solution for your business.

It is also worth noting if your application is successful, grant moneys are not paid upfront but claimed normally at the back end of the project or even after any intervention is completed.

Therefore you will need to use your own cash reserves and any other funding prior to drawing down the grant money. I have even known businesses take out bridging loans till they have received their grant funds.

Some key areas of your business whereby you could access business advice or a grant;

Business advice and support, whether you are pre-start, a new start or an established business, there are regional Business Growth Hubs across the UK whereby you can obtain free or funded advice. You can normally obtain specialist support to devise a business growth strategy, do market research to create a sales and marketing plan, implement social media management or even get advice on how to apply for further funding.

Note each UK region may have a focus on specific business sectors, business sizes and locations, as eligibility can be even post code specific.

Skills and development government grants

The Skills Funding Agency oversees the current apprenticeship scheme, however on May 1st 2017 the new Apprenticeship Levy scheme starts whereby your business could access subsidised training and development to upskill existing employees to even Master’s degree level.

Many regional Universities, Colleges and further education organisations will be offering a multitude of subsidised short courses or funded degree level programmes which will help you develop your existing staff to be the managers and directors of the future.

If your business is within a rural development area and looking to grow, invest in infrastructure, machinery or seek specialist advice to diversify. Or if your business is involved with forestry and land projects the government have a scheme called LEADER managed through Local Action Groups.

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund is a new energy efficiency support service for small and medium-sized companies in England, Scotland and Wales.

It provides direct funded support through energy assessments, training workshops, equipment procurement support and up to £10,000 capital contribution towards the purchase of energy saving equipment.

Manufacturing is an area which is increasingly supported through grant schemes. Therefore if you manufacture textiles, specialist tooling, operate in the digital market, within the nuclear supply chain or need support for international trade, or manufacture in many other sectors, there is likely to be a grant scheme that your business can access.

Innovation, Research and Development

Innovate UK, offers support and funding to help businesses develop new products and services and bring them closer to market, this may be to bring people together to share ideas, tackle challenges and make new technological advances.

They targets technologies and areas with the greatest scope to improve business, the economy and society.

Local Enterprise Partnership

For anyone looking for grants at the moment, the go-to people will be their Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). One of the main functions of the LEPS is to generate economic growth and so many have their own grants programmes.

In addition, most provide some form of business support and advice. As part of the business advice service they collate information on local and national grants and will signpost business owners to the relevant organisations.

Another great source of information is the government ‘Business is Great’ website which has a page dedicated to a number of funds to support innovation.

There is also is an EU tool which does a better job than anything I’ve seen of clarifying what finance is available across the EU including although is does require some persistence in searching to get to the information.

For companies and individuals with ground breaking research which may require significant funding there is also Horizon 2020:

Grant funding is not for everyone but could give your business the boost it needs. Proper preparation, thorough research, getting professional advice and being able to clearly explain why you require your grant funding is more likely to lead to a successful application. And, as a result, help you obtain the financial support for a better, bigger and more profitable business for you.



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ideas for business

Ideas for business

The latest Halloween ideas, information and articles from our staff.

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Ideas for business

Ideas for business

2016 Halloween Ideas, Costumes, Decorations and Props, Halloween Party Planning, Spooky Games and Activities and Pumpkin Carving articles since 1994! The great news is that the next three years will be great for our favorite holiday! This year, Halloween will fall on a Friday allowing both kids and grown-ups to stay out much later than a week night. Now celebrating our 21st year online! Since times really are tough financially right now, be sure to check out our budgeting and money saving articles for lots of great tips and suggestions for getting the most fright for your buck.

Ideas for businessFree Pumpkin Carving Patterns!

Looking for the very best selection of pumpkin carving patterns anywhere on the Net? Well, SpookMaster is the place to go!

With hundreds of unique and unusual designs, they have an incredible selection of top-rate pumpkin patterns. But the best news is. all of their carving patterns, templates and stencils are free, that’s right, absolutely free! Just head on over to their web site, download all patterns you want directly to your computer, print them out and start carving.

Some Things Really Are Free!

Ideas for business

One of the most fun and fulfilling things you can do during the season is host a Halloween party for your friends and family. Whether it’s a children’s party or one just for grown-ups, there are so many great treats, games, music, atcivities and foods that you can lavish your guests with. Planning and decorating for your party should be an all out spook fest!

For those holding a Halloween movie party, be sure to check out our Movies and Television Guide for lots of spooky viewing suggestions. In addition to the classic Halloween movie franchise brought to us by John Carpenter, there are a slew of other horror movies just waiting to be watched. You’ll find a ton of stuff to watch in the Movie Guide section for kids, adults and everyone in between! Click Here.

Ideas for business Halloween Decorations

Its never to early to get in the mood for Halloween. In fact, some of us are in that mood all year long! Now that Fall is finally here, its time to start thinking about how you will decorate your home A full size coffin prop such as the one to the right is a great addition to your Halloween decor.

Our decor section can show you some interesting and fun ways to decorate inside and out. Also try our crafts section for decorations that you can make on your own if you are a crafter. With the economy so bad, lots of stores are dropping prices just to stay in business and provide what the customer needs. Be sure to take advantage of all of these sales! Click Here.

Ideas for businessHalloween Games

Check out our selection of classic games like Bobbing for Apples and more modern games like the much asked for Hal O’ Ween game, and even a collection of printable puzzles that you can download. This gives you some fast game entertainment for any party. Just print out and play!

Party games will help your party fun and flowing smoothly. Sometimes it’s just as much for adults to play children’s games as it is for the kids and all of these games can be adapted for both types of party’s quite easily. If your party seems to be hitting a snag, just get a game of some kind going and it’s sure to perk your party up! Click Here.

Ideas for businessHalloween Costumes

One of the things that makes this such a wonderful holiday is that you can dress up and pretend to be just about any fanciful character you want and still be socially accepted. Be sure to try and order your costumes well in advance to give you plenty of time to make sure that your costume fits properly and you have time to accessorize your individual look.

Caution – Some online retailers are just affiliates and do not actually stock the products they sell. They pass the order to a distributor and the products are dropped shipped. The Costume Kingdom is one reputable online costume retailer that does stock and ship their products in-house.



grants for small businesses

Grants for small businesses

Didn’t make a profit this year?

Didn’t make an export sale?

You could still be eligible for R D Tax and EMDG Grants

Using a grant consultant will maximise your rebate and minimise your audit liability.

The Treadstone team includes tax registered R D tax consultants and Austrade QIP qualified EMDG consultants.

Call our consultants to find out how you can become eligible for grants before you miss out.

Grants for small businesses

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Cuyahoga County awards small business grants to Cleveland Heights, Fairview Park, Lakewood, Maple Heights

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga County will award $600,000 in federal grants to Cleveland Heights, Fairview Park, Lakewood and Maple Heights so they can give forgivable loans to small businesses.

Each city will receive $150,000 and will contribute $50,000 to match the award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Administration Municipal Grant Program supports small business growth with financing to create jobs. In 2015 the county launched a pilot program with Cleveland and Shaker Heights.

Cleveland received a $500,000 grant and Shaker Heights received $250,000. The county said each city matched the award.

The investments leveraged more than $11 million of bank loans to 30 small businesses, creating 55 new jobs and retaining 96 existing jobs, the county said. The program included support for women- and minority-owned businesses.

The county also announced Tuesday that it will award an additional $250,000 matching grant to Cleveland to continue the small business program.

The county chose the other cities from 22 inner-ring cities asked to submit applications.

“We are very glad that the county is expanding this important economic development initiative beyond the two pilot cities of Shaker Heights and the City of Cleveland,” Gil Goldberg, U.S Small Business Administration district director, said in a statement. “The expansion of the funds from the County coupled with $50,000 from each of the four additional municipalities will provide Cleveland Heights, Fairview Park, Lakewood, and Maple Heights with a pool of $200,000 that will be leveraged with SBA loans to provide a total economic impact of $2 million to $3 million in funding for small businesses in each of the four inner-ring suburbs.”

Under the new initiative, small businesses in the communities are eligible for performance grants/forgivable loans for:

  • up to 15 percent of the cost of the businesses’ expansion project
  • working capital up to $50,000

Start-up businesses are also eligible. Businesses must have 10-percent equity and be willing to receive technical assistance from one of three Small Business Development Centers in Cuyahoga County, and qualify for an SBA loan, the county said in June when it announced the expansion of the program.

Small businesses in the cities can apply through their banks or city halls.

The performance grant/forgivable loan is paid for individuals accounts account established by the county and the city. The city administers the account and will be the small business’ main point of contact.

“Our partnership with the SBA is a core component to our strategy to create a value for our municipal clients and a continuum of capital for our small business formation and job creation.” Ted Carter, the county’s chief economic development officer said in a statement. “We look forward to expanding this to other communities.”



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Loans for business



3 ways to get a small-business loan

The recovering economic environment has meant that small businesses have had to be more creative when looking for loans.

However, companies with sound business strategies still can borrow. Options include loans from traditional banks and institutions affiliated with the Small Business Administration, as well as financing from Internet-based lenders.

“For creditworthy, high-scoring small businesses, there is money available,” says George Cloutier, CEO of American Management Services, a consultant to small businesses.

Bank loans

The best place to get a small-business loan is still a bank, says Cloutier. Banks typically offer the lowest interest rates and many have established reputations as trustworthy lenders.

“Many small businesses try three or four banks and then stop looking,” Cloutier says. A more persistent approach has better odds of success.

Calculate business loan payment

Want to calculate your small-business loan payment? Go to Bankrate’s loan and amortization calculator.

“Take out the phone book, target 10 banks and work through that list,” he says.

That strategy worked for Michael McKean. He is founder of The Knowland Group, a company that helps hotels fill up their meeting space.

A few years ago, as the success of The Knowland Group grew, McKean began searching for a bank that would give the growing company expanded access to credit.

“We talked to every bank in our area, at least a dozen,” McKean says. “Many came back with proposals, but the terms were very onerous. Or sometimes they shifted terms.”

Finally, M T Bank came through.

“They just wanted to get our business,” McKean says.

McKean says his company did not approach M T any differently than it had approached the other banks. It was just a matter of being persistent until the right deal came along, he says.

“We did everything right, approaching the right person at each bank,” he says. “We’re a profitable business. I think it was just the … credit crunch that prevented us from getting a loan.”

Cloutier says the key to success with banks is to show past profitability, and to describe a well thought-out plan for future profits.

“If you aren’t making a profit now, you must be able to tell the bank how you will change that in the short term, or you really won’t be able to get a loan,” he says.

He also recommends that businesses start small in their loan requests.

“If you need money for four trucks, ask for two,” Cloutier says. “The bigger the loan request, the harder it is to get it approved.”

SBA loans

Another way to find a bank loan is through the Small Business Administration, or SBA. The SBA can direct you to banks that offer loans guaranteed by the agency. This way, you’ll have the advantage of approaching banks specifically interested in lending to small businesses.

Interested businesses should contact the SBA office nearest to them, which can be found on the agency’s website. Jeanne Hulit, the SBA’s acting administrator, urges businesses to seek a bank that is an experienced SBA lender.

Banks granting SBA loans place increased emphasis on business plans, cash flow and profit forecasts in deciding whether to lend, she says. The SBA also can refer businesses to free counseling centers to improve their performance.

Online opportunities

Another source for loans is the Internet. There are several sites where businesses can seek alternative lenders, such as individuals and small companies.

Interest rates are generally a little higher than what a bank will charge, but it’s much less than what you’ll have to pay on many credit cards.

Look around at different sites, some may charge a one-time fee to list your business, while others are free to list but might have fees reflected in loan rates.

If you’re going to list your company on one of these sites, describe your business in clear and concise language.

Lastly, make sure to investigate the company you are looking to post your business on. These kinds of companies were successful in 2008 and during the recession, but times have changed. Many have since gone out of business. Before paying for anything, make sure the company is legit.



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Loans for starting a business

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The recipients in these stories took the first step and contacted our Centre to learn about their funding options. Although we cannot guarantee you will get funding, the more you know about others experiences the better your chances.

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Find out if you may be eligible for funding

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Still not sure where to start? Our in-house group of experts can help. Give us a call or fill out the form below to begin.

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