Government Grants for Small Businesses

Government Grants, Incentives and funding for business

Incentives SA offers advice and information on a variety of grants available through the DTI in all sectors including SMME’s and Business funding. Government grants for small business .

Grants are available for small business funding, medium sized businesses and large companies with turnovers exceeding R35 million per year.

The Department of Trade and Industry offers a range of incentives and grants to suit your business requirements.

Small, Micro- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMME) Development Incentives

BBSDP is a cost-sharing grant offered to small black-owned enterprises to assist them in improving their competitiveness and sustainability in order to become part of the mainstream economy and create employment. BBSDP provides a grant to a maximum of R1 000 000 (R800 000 maximum for tools, machinery and equipment and R200 000 maximum for eligible enterprises to improve their corporate governance, management, marketing, productivity and use of modern technology).

The Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS) is a 90:10 matching cash grant for registered primary co-operatives (a primary co-operative consists of five or more members who are historically disadvantaged individuals). The CIS is an incentive for co-operative enterprises in the emerging economy to acquire competitive business development services, and the maximum grant that can be offered to one co-operative entity under the scheme is R350 000.

The DTI initiated the ISP as a grant to develop incubators into successful enterprises with the potential to revitalise communities and strengthen local and national economies. The ISP encourages partnerships whereby big businesses assists SMMEs with skills transfer, enterprise development, supplier development and marketing opportunities.

THRIP is a partnership programme funded byВ the dtiВ and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). On a cost-sharing basis with the industry, THRIP supports science, engineering and technology research collaborations focused on addressing the technology needs of participating firms and encouraging the development and mobility of research personnel and students among participating organisations.

Industrial Development-Related Incentives

The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) is one of the key action programmes of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2012/13 – 2014/15. It will provide enhanced manufacturing support aimed at encouraging manufacturers to upgrade their production facilities in a manner that sustains employment and maximises value-addition in the short to medium term. The MCEP comprises two sub-programmes: the Production Incentive (PI) and the Industrial Financing Loan Facilities which will be managed by the dti and the Industrial Development Corporation respectively.

Manufacturing Investment Programme (MIP)

The MIP is a reimbursable cash grant for local and foreign-owned manufacturers that wish to establish a new production facility; expand an existing production facility; or upgrade an existing facility in the clothing and textiles sector.

As part of the Government’s strategy to consolidate small-enterprise support activities since April 2006, the activities of the Godisa Trust, the National Technology Transfer Centre (NTTC), the three business incubators of the dti, the Technology Advisory Centre (TAC), the technology-transfer activities of the Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) programme and the support programmes for small enterprises of the South African Quality Institute were merged into a single programme – the seda Technology Programme (STP).

The SPII is a support programme ofВ the dti, managed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The SPII is designed to promote technology development in industry in South Africa through the provision of financial assistance for the development of innovative products and/or processes. The SPII specifically focuses on the development phase, which begins at the conclusion of basic research and ends when a pre-production prototype has been produced.

The SSAS is a reimbursable 80:20 cost-sharing grant offering financial support to export councils, joint action groups and industry associations. The scheme comprises two sub-programmes, namely Generic Funding and Project Funding for Emerging Exporters (PFEE). The aim of the SSAS is aligned to the dti’s overall objectives in several respects, as indicated below.

Under the PI, applicants can use the full benefit as either an upgrade grant facility or an interest subsidy facility, or a combination of both. Eligible enterprises include clothing manufacturers, textile manufacturers, Cut, Make and Trim (CMT) operators, Footwear manufacturers, Leather goods manufacturers, and Leather processors (specifically for leather goods and footwear industries).

The FIG compensates qualifying foreign investors for costs incurred in moving qualifying new machinery and equipment (vehicles excluded) from abroad to the Republic of South Africa.

The CTCIP aims to build capacity among clothing and textile manufacturers and in other areas of the apparel value chain in South Africa to enable them to effectively supply their customers and compete on a global scale. Such competitiveness encompasses issues of cost, quality, flexibility, reliability, adaptability and the capabilityВ to innovate.

The CPFP is a cost-sharing programme that contributes to the cost of feasibility studies likely to lead to projects outside South Africa that will increase local exports and stimulate the market for South African capital goods and services.

The South African Government implemented a Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring (BPO O) incentive programme as from July 2007. Between July 2007 and March 2010, the incentive resulted in the creation of at least 6 000 new jobs and attracted R303 million in direct investment. As part of a process of improving South Africa’s position as an investment destination, a systematic review of the BPO O incentive programme was undertaken with the private sector, resulting in a revised BPS incentive

Trade, Export and Investment Incentives

The dti assists South African exporters by organising National Pavilions to showcase local products at international trade exhibitions. The EMIA scheme bears costs for space rental, the construction and maintenance of stands, electricity and water charges, as well as freight charges, up to a maximum of three cubic metres or two tonnes per exhibitor. Also included are assistance withВ International Trade Exhibitions, Group Outward-Selling Missions and Group Outward-Investment Missions

The CIP is a cost-sharing cash grant for projects designed to improve critical infrastructure in South Africa. The grant covers qualifying development costs from a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 30% towards the total development costs of qualifying infrastructure. It is made available to approved Eligible Enterprise upon the completion of the infrastructure project concerned. Infrastructure for which funds are required is deemed to be ‘critical’: if the investment would not take place without the said infrastructure or the said investment would not operate optimally.

The South African Government offers a package of incentives to promote its film production and post¬production industry, which includes the Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production Incentive and the South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production Incentive.  The Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production Incentive aims to attract foreign-based film productions to shoot on location in South Africa and conduct post-production activities in the country. The South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production incentive aims to assist local film producers in the production of local content.

The AIS is an incentive designed to grow and develop the automotive sector through investment in new and/or replacement models and components that will increase plant production volumes, sustain employment and/or strengthen the automotive value chain. Eligible Enterprises include Light motor vehicle manufacturers that have achieved or can demonstrate that they will achieve a minimum of 50 000 annual units of production per plant, within a period of three years; or Component or deemed component manufacturers that are part of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) supply chain and will achieve at least 25% of a total entity turnover of R10 million by the end of the first full year of commercial production as part of a light motor vehicle manufacturer supply chain, locally and/or internationally.



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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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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