More than 1,000 Lancashire businesses have expressed their interest in grants available through Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub to help them recover from the coronavirus crisis.
The BoostYourRecovery and Kickstart Tourism grants allow Lancashire businesses to apply for £1,000 - £3,000 (upto £5,000 in exceptional circumstances) to invest into their long-term coronavirus recovery.
As a result of the exceptional demand in recent weeks, Boost has halted its application process to new expressions of interests to assess the 1,000 already received.
Businesses are advised that there is a strong possibility no further expressions of interest will be accepted and that not all of those who submitted an expression of interest will be successful in receiving funding.
County Councillor Michael Green, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development, environment, and planning, said: "Our Boost team has helped thousands of businesses since the pandemic began with enquiries about Covid-related support and have been doing all they can to help them during what has been a very challenging time.
"It’s incredible that so many Lancashire businesses are thinking ahead and looking at the finance options available to them as the county recovers from the significant downturn of recent months.
“However, this is a limited pot of money and, due to the demand, not all businesses who apply for these grants will be successful. We have halted the application process to allow our team to assess the applications we have received and ensure funding goes to those who need it most from those expressions of interest.
“We would advise companies to check the Boost website in case the situation changes and there is an opportunity for more companies to express their interest. In the meantime, our team is still available to offer advice and support, including a dedicated Access to Finance service which will help businesses to find appropriate sources of funding. I would ask anyone who wants to find out more about the programmes we offer to get in touch."
The funding forms part of a £30m UK-wide package announced by Government on July 30. The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.
Those who have successfully submitted an expression of interest will be contacted in the coming weeks to progress their application. They are advised this is likely to be around mid-October to allow staff to fully assess all applications they have received.
Businesses who require funding to support their operations over the coming months are urged to explore all available options.
Andrew Leeming, programme manager, Boost said: “It’s important to remember the coronavirus recovery grants are just one of a wide variety of funding options and other fully-funded growth support available to companies in Lancashire. We urge companies to explore all options rather than waiting to see if they are successful in securing a grant.
“Speak to the Boost team and let us help you find the right support for your needs.”
The recovery grants are one of a number of new finance options made available specifically for Lancashire businesses to aid their coronavirus recovery, including a new £2.25m Rosebud Rebound Fund announced by Lancashire County Council last month.
Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Businesses who are interested in exploring the support Boost can offer, including the Access to Finance service, can get in touch here.
Those with enquiries specific to coronavirus recovery grants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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