Business growth and recovery support in Argyll and Bute

Support provided by Argyll and Bute Council

What does this involve?

If you are looking for support to help your business grow or recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic, the Argyll and Bute Business Gateway local growth accelerator programme can provide fully funded specialist advice on a range of topics, plus 50% grant funding to support your plans.

A range of grants is available, including:

  • business growth grant or recovery grant of £1000 up to £5000, to cover 50% of approved project costs
  • trade fair grant of £250 up to £1500, to cover 50% of approved costs
  • training grant of £250 up to £1500, to cover 50% of approved costs
  • accreditation grant of £250 up to £1500, to cover 50% of approved costs

You can also receive 1 to 2 days of fully funded advice from a subject expert. The range of topics includes:

  • HR: recruiting, managing and developing people
  • digital/e-commerce
  • marketing
  • PR
  • growth strategy
  • procurement and tendering
  • finance
  • internationalisation, importing and exporting

Accessing support is a 2-stage process:
1.      First you need to complete a registration form and meet (virtually) with a Business Gateway adviser to develop a growth action plan for your business. If eligible, you will then be registered to the programme, for either growth or recovery support. Your adviser will help you identify the relevant support you could apply for.
2.      You then need to complete an application form for each type of grant or specialist advice support. Your adviser will provide the application forms and can help you prepare your application(s).

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014 to 2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

Am I eligible?

To register for the Argyll and Bute Business Gateway local growth accelerator programme, your business must be:

  • based in Argyll and Bute
  • micro, small or medium-sized (fewer than 250 employees, with a turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million)
  • not account-managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise
  • not operating solely as a retailer

You must also meet the following criteria for either growth or recovery support.

For growth support, you should:

  • aim to increase your annual turnover by £50,000 or more within the next 3 years
  • have been actively trading for at least 3 months and be able to show that your business is viable* business through your accounts

For recovery support, you should:

  • aim to increase your annual turnover to pre-COVID levels or achieve modest growth (below a £50,000 increase) within the next 3 years
  • have been actively trading prior to 1 January 2020 and be able to show that your business is viable* business through your accounts

*Viable normally means that the business is full time (or has clear potential to become so within 6 months) and provides the business owner with profits equivalent to at least the current Scottish Living Wage (or has clear potential to do so within 12 months).

What does this cost?

There is no cost for advice. Grants require 50% match funding.

Who is this for?

Small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) based in Argyll and Bute that are looking to either grow or recover to pre-COVID levels.

How long does this take?

The application deadline for all grants is 31 October 2022, or sooner if funds are fully allocated.

Applications for trade fair, training or accreditation grants are normally assessed within 10 working days. Applications for growth or recovery grants are assessed by an approval panel.

If approved, you will be assigned a specialist adviser and can access up to 3 specialist advice sessions from the programme. All sessions must be fully concluded by 31 December 2022.

All grant support must be fully claimed by 31 December 2022. Any training, accreditation or trade fairs supported by the grant must also have been successfully completed or attended by this date.

Important information

Grants are paid in arrears, after you submit evidence of the amount you've spent for approved items. You cannot claim for items purchased or committed to before your grant application is approved.

Between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2022, the programme will provide specialist advice and grants to eligible SMEs based in Argyll and Bute, to a total programme value of £855,239.

The programme aims to extend the scope of Business Gateway support in order to provide more assistance to increase the growth of SMEs in the Argyll and Bute Council area. The operation will work with 142 unique SMEs across the range of activities designed to support growth.

Next steps

Visit the Argyll and Bute Council website to check your eligibility and find out more. 

Support provided by Argyll and Bute Council

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