It’s no secret that businesses are suffering right now, especially smaller businesses and recent startups. There’s plenty of help out there in the form of loans, relief, tax breaks and rate freezes and small business grants, which is what we are going to talk about today.

Who qualifies for these small business grants?

Each grant has different specific requirements depending on location, business sector or even certain business goal areas like creating more jobs, training, or environmental changes.

To qualify for most of these grants, your SME business must have less than 250 employees, a balance sheet of £39,000 and an annual turnover of no more than £45,000.

100 Great UK Small Business Grants

There are plenty of different grants available for small businesses and startups that are suffering heavy losses due to the pandemic. Lots of these grants have come directly from the government, with the Chancellor offering financial aid for SMEs in the form of grants, tax breaks and rate freezes. We’ve broken down help available to a national and regional level below.

National support:

1. Gov Apprenticeship Scheme

Hiring an apprentice not only gives SMEs access to grants and funding, it also gives someone a chance at crafting a career at your business. Studies suggest that 64% of apprentices stay with the same business after their apprenticeship is over. Find more information on the Gov Apprenticeship Scheme, check the Gov website.

2. Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is designed to promote the employment of 16-24 year old individuals that are on Universal Credit and who are at risk of long-term unemployment. This scheme is for all businesses including SMEs. The funding can cover:

  • 100 percent of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the employees age) for 25 hours per week for a total of six months
  • Any associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

3. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

There are certain conditions to be met and rules to be adhered to, so give the full scheme a read on the government website if you’re considering putting your business forward for it.

4. Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Just like the SEIS but for businesses that are already well established.

5. Grow It Award – UnLtd

Aimed at social entrepreneurs that are making a positive impact on people’s lives, the Grow It Award is designed to help you expand your social venture. The award consists of up to £15,000 which is to be used to grow your project.

This can be in the form of improving the quality of life for people through your work and social change, something that benefits your wider community as a whole or certain demographics like the elderly, vulnerable peoples etc.

6. New Enterprise Allowance

Another government backed scheme, the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) is designed to help those on benefits start a business by providing grants and loans to help people get their business off the ground when they start trading.

You apply for the NEA through your nearest Jobcentre Plus by talking to your work coach. They will examine the business idea that you present and provide help if you’re eligible.

7. Business Rates Relief

If you run an SME then you may be eligible for business rates relief from your local council. Business rates relief is where you can get a discount for payments made on your business premises (with a rateable value of less than £15,000).

You can also get business rates relief if your business only runs out of a single property. Get in touch with your local council to see if you’re eligible, and read more on the government website.

8. R&D (Research & Development) Tax Credits

Aimed at businesses that are doing work in science and technology, they can be claimed by companies that are involved in research and development that will advance their field as a whole. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.

Applications can be made if you have less than 500 staff and a turnover of under €100m or balance sheet total under €86m.

9. Community Shares ReBoost Fund

Power to Change has started a new fund for businesses who are struggling due to the current pandemic. The Community Shares ReBoost Fund helps communal businesses to raise community shares capital that can support businesses in recovery, adaptation or expansion of the business in response to Covid-19.

You can apply for between £3k and £5k for a recovery grant or match equity investment which is typically matched pound for pound up to £25,000 from the ReBoost fund.

It’s open for applications until April 2021.

10. Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk

Intended for the repair and conservation of at risk heritage buildings, this grant can be awarded for heritage buildings, monuments and parks for repair and future management.

Grants in England

  • Business Innovation Fund, West of England
  • Broadland District Enterprise grant
  • New Anglia Small Grants Scheme
  • TALE (Transport and Logistical Efficiencies)
  • Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington
  • ISfB: Go-Create grants, Oxford
  • New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Business Fund
  • Countryside Stewardship
  • Low Carbon Revenue Grants, Warwickshire
  • East Sussex Invest 7 (ESI7)
  • Business grant scheme, Elmbridge
  • Digital High Street Fund, Elmbridge
  • Greater Manchester #SEEDIFFERENT SME Apprenticeship Support Grants
  • Apprentice funding, Maidstone
  • Scarborough Business Development Grant Scheme
  • Premises Improvement Grants, Pendle
  • Independent Retailer Grant, Test Valley Council
  •  Small Business Grant Scheme, Crawley
  • FEAST2, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South East Midlands
  • Growing Enterprise, Lincolnshire
  • Malvern Hills Enterprise Scheme
  • Reigate and Banstead Business Support Grant
  • NBV Grant for New Businesses, Nottinghamshire
  • Cumbria Business Startup Support Programme
  •  DIT Internalisation Fund (East Midlands)
  • Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) grants scheme
  •  Business Growth Grant, Worcester City
  •  Tees Valley Apprenticeship Support Grant
  • South East Business Boost (SEBB), East Sussex, Kent, Essex
  • North of Tyne Growth Fund
  • New Anglia Growth Through Innovation Fund
  • Business Energy Efficiency (BEE Anglia)
  • Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
  • Mansfield business grant schemes
  • Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth
  • PAPI, Yorkshire
  • Cumbria Infrastructure Fund
  • Buckingham Business First Grants and Vouchers
  • Be Inspired – Staffordshire University
  • Eden Tourism Grants
  • North East Business Support Fund
  • Small Growth Grants, Dorset
  • Arrow: Supporting Innovation in the North East
  •  Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund
  • Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Revenue Grant
  • South East Business Hub grants
  • Medilink Solstice, Leicester
  • Key Fund for Social and Community Businesses, East Midlands
  • Business Energy Efficiency Programme, West Midlands
  • Agri-tech Cornwall
  • Growth Deal funding, Black Country
  • Wenta grants – Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Enfield
  • Invest to Grow, Lincolnshire
  • Growing Hull & East Yorkshire Business Investment Grants
  • Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund
  • Harborough Business Grant for Apprenticeships
  • Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)
  • Grants in Wales

Grants in Wales

  • Caerphilly Business Start-Up grant
  • Caerphilly Enterprise Fund
  • Community toilet grant scheme, Gwynedd County
  • Vacant commercial floor space grant, Newport
  • ISO Grant Scheme, Gwynedd County
  • Start-up Business Grants, Newport City
  • Accelerated Growth Programme
  • Carmarthenshire Rural Enterprise Fund
  • Bridgend Kick-Start Grant
  • Circular Economy Fund
  • Wales Tourism Investment Fund (WTIF) and the Micro Small Business Fund (MSBF)
  • Local Places for Nature
  • Green Port Hull
  • Grants in Scotland

Grants in Scotland

  • Scottish Growth Scheme
  • Scottish Venture Fund
  • Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development
  • Scottish Wedding Industry Fund
  • Temporary Closure grant
  • Workplace Innovation Grant
  • Visit Scotland Growth Fund Grants
  • Event Scotland funding programmes
  • Scottish Edge
  • NESTRANS Sustainable Travel Grant Scheme
  • Small Innovation Grants Scheme
  • Fife Financial Support to Businesses
  • Culture & Business Fund Scotland
  • Orkney Islands New Business Start Up Grant
  • West Dumbarton Business Start Up Grant

Northern Ireland Grants

  • Skills Advancement Grant
  • Proof of Concept Grant Fund
  • Brexit Readiness Vouchers
  • DAERA forestry grants
  • Rural Business Investment Scheme, Derry City and Strabane District Council

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