Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme

Looking to grow your business? 

ERDFArgyll and Bute Council’s Business Gateway may be able to provide additional support to help your business grow or recover through the Local Growth Accelerator Programme. This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

The support can include fully funded specialist advice on a range of topics and 50% grant funding of up to £10,000 to support your plans. The programme is reaching its conclusion and cannot be extended.  Please apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

Important deadlines:

  • You must submit your registration form for the programme by 5pm on 5 December 2022
  • You must submit your application form for any grant or expert help by 5pm on 30 January 2023 although applications will close SOONER if funds are fully allocated
  • You must complete any approved grant expenditure and submit your fully completed claim and evidence to us by 5pm on 28 April 2023
  • You must complete any expert help support by 5pm on 28 April 2023

How to apply for support

  1. Check your eligibility against the criteria below
  2. Complete a Registration Form and submit it by 5pm on 5 December 2022
  3. Meet with a Business Gateway Adviser (by video or phone) to discuss your business and complete an action plan linked to appropriate support. You must be available to do this before 15 December 2022
  4. Your eligibility is assessed based on the Registration Form and Action Plan information provided.  If eligible, you will be accepted onto the programme
  5. Once registered, you can then apply via a separate application form for each grant or specialist advice topic.  Your business adviser will provide the application forms and will discuss them with you.

Eligibility - please read this before completing a registration form

To register for the Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme your business must be:

  • based in Argyll and Bute
  • micro, small or medium sized (fewer than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover or balance sheet total of less than €43m)
  • not Account Managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise
  • not operating solely as a retailer

AND must meet the following criteria for EITHER Growth OR Recovery support

GROWTH:

  • aiming to increase annual turnover by £50,000 or more within the next three years;
  • actively trading for at least 3 months and able to evidence a viable* business through accounts

RECOVERY:

  • aiming to increase annual turnover to pre-COVID levels or achieve modest growth (below £50,000 increase) within the next three years
  • actively trading prior to 1 January 2020 and able to evidence a viable* business through accounts

*Viable normally means that the business is full time (or has clear potential to become so within 6 months) AND provides the business owner with profits equivalent to at least the current Scottish Living Wage (or has clear potential to do so within 12 months).

Please contact Business Gateway on 01546 604555 or your Business Gateway business adviser if you have any questions about your eligibility for this programme.

If you are eligible for this programme, a Business Gateway adviser will develop an action plan with you and help you access relevant support.

If you are not eligible for this programme, a Business Gateway adviser can discuss with you whether alternative support is available.

Registration form

The registration form for the Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme is available to download here.  You must register for the programme first before you can apply for support.

Support Available

SPECIALIST ADVICE

One to three days of fully funded advice from a subject expert, covering:

  • HR: recruiting, managing and developing people
  • Digital/E-commerce
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Growth Strategy
  • Business resilience
  • Procurement/Tendering
  • Finance
  • Internationalisation/ Importing/Exporting

The application deadline for specialist advice is 30 January 2023 or sooner if funds are fully allocated.  Applications are normally assessed within 10 working days and if approved you will be assigned a specialist adviser. All support must be fully concluded by 28 April 2023. Registered businesses can access up to 3 specialist advice sessions from the programme.

 

GRANT FUNDING 

  • Business Growth Grant  or Business Recovery Grant  50% of approved project costs for a grant from £1,000 up to £10,000
  • Trade Fair Grant 50% of approved costs for a grant from £250 up to £1,500
  • Training Grant 50% of approved costs for a grant from £250 up to £1,500
  • Accreditation Grant 50% of approved costs for a grant from £250 up to £1,500

The application deadline for all grants is 30 January 2023 or sooner if funds are fully allocated.  Applications for Trade Fair, Training or Accreditation grants are normally assessed within 10 working days.  Applications for Growth or Recovery grants are assessed by an approval panel.  The submission dates for each panel are available here:

 

Application Submission DeadlinePanel Date
24 Oct-2217-Nov-22
7-Nov-2201-Dec-22
21-Nov-2215-Dec-22
5 Dec-2212 Jan-23
16-Jan-239-Feb-23
30-Jan-2323-Feb-23

All approved grant support must be completed and fully claimed by 28 April 2023.  Any Training, Accreditation or Trade Fairs supported by the grant must also have been successfully completed/attended by this date.

Grants are paid in arrears, against evidence of actual spend for the items approved. Each item claimed must be supported by an invoice and evidence of payment on a bank statement. Items purchased, or committed to, prior to your grant application being approved are not eligible. The full terms and conditions are given on the application form for grant support issued by your Business Gateway adviser.

As the programme is nearing its conclusion, applications for grant support should only include costs that can realistically be completed and evidenced before 28 April 2023. Approval is unlikely to be given for grants towards products or services with long lead times, or refurbishment costs where planning permission or a building warrant is required but not yet in place. You should discuss this with a Business Gateway adviser before submitting a registration or application.

Programme objectives

Between 1 October 2015 and 31 May 2023, the programme will provide specialist advice and grants to eligible SMEs based in Argyll and Bute, to a total programme value of £855,239.

The aim of the programme is to increase the assistance available to accelerate the growth of SMEs in the Argyll and Bute Council area, by extending the scope of Business Gateway support. The operation will engage 123 unique SMEs across the range of activities designed to support growth.