SMEs in England can apply for a grant to cover the cost of specialist professional advice such as accountancy. Can your company take advantage?
Professional services grant. The new £20m scheme, underpinned by the England European Regional Development Fund, gives grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to small and medium-sized businesses to help access professional advice from accountants, HR experts, lawyers and IT support. The assistance will be fully funded by the government (up to the grant limit) with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.
Tip. You could use the grant to hire advisors to provide specialist advice to support your business’s recovery following the impact of the pandemic such as assistance with cash-flow forecasting or business plans for finance applications. The grants cannot, however, be used to fund normal business activities such as the preparation of the statutory year-end accounts and company tax returns.
New equipment. The funds can also be used to pay for the installation of new technologies to improve the ability of SMEs to diversify and thrive in the post-coronavirus economy.
How to apply. You will need to apply for this grant via the local growth hubs in your respective Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) region. Our local hub is here. For other regions, please see here. Each LEP has been awarded at least £250,000 to get the programme rolling. You will need to act quickly as all grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021 and all the relevant activity must be completed. Tip. As these grants will be distributed by LEPs, you will need to contact them directly about when these grants will become available and whether your business is eligible. Tip. When applying, explain the effect that the coronavirus pandemic has had on your business and how the advice will be used to help your business’s recovery.
A grant of between £1,000 and £5,000 is available for SMEs to hire advisors to help recovery from the pandemic. Contact your local growth hub to apply before the 28 February 2021 deadline.