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 to support your plans. The programme is open for applications until 31 October 2022 but may close sooner if funds are fully allocated, and all supported activity must be completed and claimed by 31 December 2022.

How to apply for support

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Complete a Registration Form
  3. Meet with a Business Gateway Adviser (by video or phone) to discuss your business and complete an action plan linked to appropriate support
  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.

Download the application form

Support Available

SPECIALIST ADVICE

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

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

The application deadline for specialist advice is 31 October 2022 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 31 December 2022. Registered businesses can access up to 3 specialist advice sessions from the programme.

GRANT FUNDING 

  • Business Growth Grant 50% of approved project costs for a grant from £1,000 up to £5,000
  • Business Recovery Grant 50% of approved project costs for a grant from £1,000 up to £5,000
  • Trade Fair Grant 50%of approved costs from £250 up to £1,500
  • Training Grant 50%of approved costs from £250 up to £1,500
  • Accreditation Grant 50%of approved costs from £250 up to £1,500

The application deadline for all grants is 31 October 2022 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 in 2021 are available here:

Application Submission DeadlinePanel Date
12-Apr-2106-May-21
03-May-2127-May-21
31-May-2124-Jun-21
02-Aug-2126-Aug-21
30-Aug-2123-Sep-21
27-Sep-2121-Oct-21
25-Oct-2118-Nov-21
22-Nov-2116-Dec-21
17-Dec-2113-Jan-22

All grant support must be fully claimed by 31 December 2022.  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. Items purchased, or committed to, prior to your grant application being approved are not eligible.

Programme objectives

Between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2022, 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 142 unique SMEs across the range of activities designed to support growth.