Council launches recovery support to complement growth support

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute is encouraging businesses to take advantage of its free workshops.

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Argyll and Bute Council has added recovery support to its existing programme of business assistance, helping more businesses in Argyll and Bute to get their ambitions back on track following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many businesses have scaled back their growth ambitions or have had to identify new customers or markets to survive.

In response, the council has worked with the Scottish Government to add recovery support to the existing Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme.

The recovery support is aimed at existing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) either aiming to restore their annual turnover to pre-Covid levels within three years or aiming for modest growth – an increase in turnover below £50,000.

Councillor Alastair Redman, policy lead for Business, Regeneration and Commercial Development, said: ‘Recognising that many SMEs have had to shift from a growth agenda, we have refocused part of our business support programme and secured approval from the Scottish Government to help businesses respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and changing economic climate.

‘I’m pleased we have launched recovery support alongside our existing growth support to benefit Argyll and Bute businesses.’

Growth support also remains in place from the programme. Despite the impact of the pandemic, many businesses based in Argyll and Bute are growing and have come forward to access support.

Since the first lockdown, 23 SMEs have secured grant support totalling more than £104,000.

Businesses access recovery or growth support by first applying to register for the Local Growth Accelerator Programme and discussing plans with a Business Gateway business adviser to identify relevant support.

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Once registered, businesses can apply for recovery or growth grants of £1,000 to £5,000, training grants of £250 to £1,500, trade fair grants of £250 to £1,500, accreditation grants of £250 to £1,500 and specialist advice for one to three days.

Specialist advice is fully funded and grants are paid at 50 per cent of actual costs.

Businesses can apply for one type of each grant and up to three specialist advice sessions.

Recovery grants can be used to fund tools, machinery, consultancy, marketing, premises refurbishment or other expenditure clearly related to business recovery or resilience – as per the grant uses previously agreed for the growth support.

The recovery grant cannot be used for wage subsidy, working capital, statutory costs or to repay debts.

The successful Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme, worth £855,239, is funded by Argyll and Bute Council and the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.