£20m advice support for SMEs to recover from Covid-19

The government has announced £20m of funding as part of their drive to boost the recovery of the economy and provide small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) help to adapt their businesses following the Coronavirus pandemic.

This package of funding is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020.

Local Growth Hubs (or associated projects) have been allocated the funding and they will work across the country with local and national, public and private sector partners to co-ordinate support for local business and connect businesses to the right help for their needs.

The Local Growth Hubs are locally driven, locally owned and at the heart of the government’s plan to ensure business support is simpler, more joined-up and easier to access.

The £20 million of funding is to support activities that must be a direct response to the impact of COVID-19 and can include:

The nature and value of grants awarded will be tailored to local circumstances, and will typically be up to £3,000. Under certain circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded.

The funding is being provided to address immediate needs and all grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021 and all activity fully completed by 31 March 2021.

Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government, said: "Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild."

"Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive."

Lancashire has been awarded £1.1m, Greater Manchester £1m, Leeds £972k and Liverpool £840k.

Links for the local growth hubs are below:

Lancashire Business Growth Hub

Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

Liverpool Business Growth Hub

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