The Birmingham City Council/GBSLEP Business Growth Programme is now open for applications. This programme of funding and support specifically targets supply chains, innovation and expansion. Eligible businesses must:
- Be SMEs with a turnover <£35.5m;
- Have been trading for at least six months;
- Operate on a wholly B2B basis;
- Have cash match;
- Have an ‘investment-ready’ project which will grow your business, resulting in jobs being created (£10,000 grant = 1 job creation) and which can be completed in a four-month period following receipt of your offer of grant.
Retail is specifically ineligible and there is a list of other sector/activity exclusions — fully documented on the GBSLEP website.
Note: There has also been some ambiguity regarding the eligibility of social enterprises. While charities are specifically excluded from the scheme under EU regulations, social enterprises that meet all the other requirements of the programme are eligible.
There are four components of business support:
- HS2 Supply Chain Programme – grant support of £20k-£200k towards project costs for supply chain companies which have, or are in the process of securing, or have the ability to secure a contract for HS2.
- Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme – grant support of £20k-£150k towards project costs for supply chain companies operating in, or diversifying into the green economy.
- Business Innovation Programme – grant support of £10k-£30k towards project costs for SMEs investing in innovative close-to-market processes, products and services.
- Business Development Programme – grant support of £10k-£20k towards project costs for businesses looking to expand, relocate and improve access to markets.