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Gloucestershire Business News

Demand for £3k recovery grants set to outstrip demand

Gloucestershire Growth Hub has been allocated more than £460,000 in SME Recovery Grants.

The funding was announced by Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke to provide support for firms as they look to recover following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Growth Hub has been allocated £464,655 to distribute with an estimated grant size of £3,000 per business - although many applicants will miss out on the funding

Growth Hub manager Alex Cottrell said: "We have more than 1,000 businesses that have registered an interest in the grants.

"This is totally understandable given the current circumstances and the pressures that business continue to face.

"This does present us with a key challenge as we know that the funding that we have been allocated is likely to support about 150 businesses."

Ms Cottrell continued: "We have to distribute the available monies in a way which reaches as many businesses as possible while providing enough financial assistance to make a real difference to their recovery options.

"We also want to ensure the allocation of funds is shared equally throughout the county."

Approving 150 grants would represent around 15 per cent of the business who have registered an initial interest.

Ms Cottrell said: "As we start to release further detail around some of the grant eligibility criteria, we may see the actual number of applications reduce.

"But taking a steer from what has happened across other Growth Hub areas we don't expect this to be the case."

To meet the criteria for the grants, businesses must be based in Gloucestershire, have less than 250 employees, a turnover under £50million, have started trading before March 1 and be able to demonstrate the impact of coronavirus on the business and how the grant would support recovery.

Ms Cottrell said: "Now that the grant has been approved, we are putting in place the systems to open and administer the applications.

"As such, we hope to open invitations for the grants at the end of September.

"The whole process has to be complete by the end of March 2021 so we are doing everything we can to make the programme as simple to use and efficient as possible."

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