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Argyll and Bute Council is encouraging businesses in its area with growth ambitions to make the most of its Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme, which will continue until the end of 2021, backed by European funding.
Despite the impact of Covid-19 restrictions, a number of businesses across Argyll and Bute have continued to take advantage of the support on offer, with 26 grants worth more than £136,000 awarded since March 2020.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on many sectors, some businesses have been able to keep their growth plans on track and others have been able to adapt their business model to keep growing in a different way.
The Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme gives growing local businesses the chance to access specialist advice and grant funding to help them expand.
Worth £855,239, the programme is funded by Argyll and Bute Council and the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.
The growth grant funding can cover 50 per cent of costs, up to £5,000 for projects linked to business growth and up to £1,500 to support training, accreditation or attendance at trade fairs linked to growth.
Councillor Alastair Redman, policy lead for business, regeneration and commercial development, said: ‘Despite enormous pressure, it is encouraging to see many businesses adapt to this global pandemic and refocus their growth ambitions. Successful businesses are key to our local economy and the support on offer from this growth programme can help them move forward.’
To access support, businesses must first register for the programme. Anyone wanting to discuss their eligibility should visit www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/bglgap or talk to a Business Gateway adviser on 01546 604555. A Business Gateway adviser will work with businesses registered for the programme to develop a growth plan and access relevant support.
The Covid-19 restrictions and impact on the economy has created challenges for many businesses, forcing them to adapt previous plans and explore new ways keep the business sustainable. In response to this the council has secured agreement from the Scottish Government to add recovery support to the growth support on offer within the programme, and details of this will be announced soon.
Business Gateway also provides a comprehensive programme of webinars, access to both local business advisers and subject experts, information, guides, and signposting of funding opportunities to help anyone looking to help their business start, survive or grow. Find out more at www.bgateway.com
Support for businesses affected by temporary restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19
Businesses required to either close by law as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, or required by law to modify operations, could be entitled to a grant from the recently launched Strategic Framework Business Fund.
There are two types of business grant available. The Temporary Closure Grant can provide £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value, for businesses required to close by law. The Restrictions Grant can provide £1,400 or £2,100, depending on rateable value, for businesses that remain open but are specifically required by protective measures to modify their operations.
For businesses based or headquartered within Argyll and Bute, these grants are administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by Argyll and Bute Council.
Eligibility is set by the Scottish Government and depends on what level of protective measures are in place at any point in time. https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/strategic-framework-business-fund