At a time when London businesses need all the support they can get, one source of funding making an understated appearance this month is the London Growth Hub’s COVID-19 Recovery Grants.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), grants of between £1000 and £5000 will be provided to eligible SMEs to support them in accessing professional, legal, financial or other advice and/or new technology and other minor equipment to address their immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID-19.
Following huge demand for these grants when they first launched in October, the London Growth Hub temporarily paused accepting applications. However on 10 November 2020 ‘Visitor Economy’ applications will be accepted, followed by ‘Wider Economy’ applications on 17 November 2020. Applications will open at 10am and remain open for a 24 hour period on the 10 and 17 November. Applications not submitted by this point will not be considered.
As a competitive process, applications that best demonstrate the following will be prioritised:
- A clear impact of COVID-19 on the business
- The proposed activity to address the impact
- How the proposed activity will positively impact the business through adapting products and services to meet customer needs, building resilience or minimising future business interruption.
Totaling approximately £1.5 million, the funding will to serve two distinct groups, SMEs in the visitor economy sector, and SMEs in the wider economy (all other sectors).
How can the grant be used?
The grant is intended to support SMEs in accessing one-to-one specialist advice to address the specific challenges they have faced as a result of COVID-19.
It is suggested that eligible activities might include the purchase of specialist consultancy support or external expertise in the following areas:
- HR professional services
- Legal professional services
- IT professional services
- Product development/diversification
- Strategic Development
- Finance support and restructuring
- Marketing consultancy, services and planning
- New markets research and development
To be eligible for funding, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Be based in the Greater London Area
- Employ less than 250 people, and have a turnover below €50m
- Be trading on or before 1st March 2019 (and currently still be trading)
- Demonstrate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on their business
Additionally, the funds cannot be used for retrospective activity, for training, building work or for the payment of wages. Further exclusions and eligibility criteria apply – see the London Growth Hub website for more details.
Businesses that believe they would be eligible and could benefit from a COVID-19 Recovery Grant should act quickly to take advantage of this limited opportunity.
As an experienced provider of financial planning, Kingston Burrowes would be happy to provide a quotation for services which could be used in your grant application. Please contact us on 020 8912 2040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this further.