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What grants are available for small businesses?

There are multiple ways of getting funds for your business and getting grants is one of them. Grant funding may not to be suitable for everyone, especially if you require a large sum, however it is still a great way to get funding. Having a thoroughly researched and detailed application, will ensure you have a chance of being successful in getting the grant. Here are some of the grants that you may be eligible for.

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1. RGF (Regional Growth Fund)
If you are looking to start a fairly small business, that will require less than £1 million then consider applying for one of the RGF schemes. These schemes are run by local or national organisations and you will need to find out which scheme your application would most likely be successful with. There are some restrictions such as; the business being England based, it creating jobs, it has to invest in private capital and must show a growth plan.

2. Business finance partnerships
This is a government scheme to replace the gap in lending to small business made by the reduction in bank lending. Approximately £1.2 billion has been invested by the government to really push lending to small to medium size businesses. More information on the grant/loan schemes.

3. LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership)
LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses, set up in 2011 by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area. As they are region specific grants, you will need to find out if there are any available in your area. The terms for these schemes will vary depending who they are being offered by.

4. Skills and development government grants
These funds are in the form of training and/or education opportunities for your employees. If your employees require certain training, you may be able to access courses or training through apprenticeship funding. The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is accountable for funding education and skills and delivers major projects such as the National Apprenticeship Service. More on government funded apprenticeships.

5. Rural development Programme
If your business is in the rural industry (farming, local community based, foresting). You may be eligible to apply for grants offered by Local Action Group (LAG). Some terms that they have are, that your project has to help your business grow, benefit the rural community and create jobs.

When applying for grants, you will need to find the right schemes that are suited to your business. You may have to apply for several different grants in order to be successful. However, do keep in mind quality over quantity; you should apply for a couple and you have to make the application thorough, detailed and fully researched.

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