Brief Guide to New Business Grants

There are various different types of grant available that you can apply for if you are setting up a new business. Grants are money that is given to you for a specific purpose, that does not usually have to be repaid.

Some grants are specifically aimed at people who are starting out, rather than established businesses. The government, for example, offers grants that are mostly awarded to proposed projects and not for businesses that have already been set up.

To obtain a government grant you will face tough competition from other applicants and also need to fall within the strict eligibility criteria. In most cases, you will have to match the money that you are granted although not always in an equal proportion. For example, you might be awarded a grant for 60% of the funds you need and will have to find the remaining 40% yourself.

Grants are also available from the European Union, Regional Development Agencies in England, the Welsh Development Agency, Invest Northern Ireland, local authorities and local development agencies.

Additionally, there are grants for business investment which are designed to help with the purchase of key assets such as machinery or buildings. These are part of a government scheme.  There are more grants available to encourage research, development and innovation.

To apply for a government grant, you will need to complete the relevant application forms and put together a detailed description of your project with full costings, as well as details of your own experience. You may have to wait for up to a year for a decision, although your application could be processed within a few weeks.

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