Council support for business recovery

The Local Growth Accelerator Programme Argyll and Bute is open to businesses aiming to increase their turnover by £50,000 or more within the next three years; or aiming to increase annual turnover to pre-COVID levels or achieve modest growth (below £50,000 increase) within the next three years. Businesses must be based in Argyll and Bute; micro, small or medium sized (fewer than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover or balance sheet total of less than €43m); not account managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise and not operating solely as retailers.

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Argyll and Bute Council can offer a range of funding and expert advice to help local businesses recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many businesses have had to adjust their plans, scale back growth, or change direction in order to survive.

The Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme includes recovery grants to help businesses get back on track.

With the scheme closing at the end of this year, those who could benefit from support are being urged to get in touch now.

Since the first lockdown, 53 locally based businesses have secured recovery or growth grant support totalling nearly £260,000.

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

Once registered, businesses can apply for recovery 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 – one to three days.

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

Recovery grants can be used to fund tools, machinery, consultancy, marketing, premises refurbishment or other expenditure clearly related to business recovery or resilience but not for wage subsidy, working capital, and statutory costs or to repay debts.

Businesses access recovery 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. Find out more at

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 Growth support.

‘The support I’ve received through the Local Growth Accelerator Programme has been transformational for my business,’ said Eve McFarlane of Cowal-based Argyll Coffee Roasters.

‘The training grant built on my barista skills and has meant I’ve been able to deliver high quality training to scores of our cafes and restaurants – driving up the quality of coffee they offer.

‘The Coffee Unit has served as a brilliant training space and has become a hub for all things coffee, showcasing our coffee and introducing it to new markets.

‘Without this support, the business would not be growing as it is, while building our reputation in Argyll and beyond.’

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