Small business grants and loans
When running a small business, whether as a personal trainer, therapist or dog walker, making ends meet can be problematic. If it’s not the day-to-day finances that cause trouble it could be an inability to grow your business because of a lack of funds.
Thankfully, there are a wide range of loans and grants available to thousands of small enterprises across the UK. These can range from an up-front payment of £1,000 to everyday support on how to best run your business.
Of course, not every business is going to be eligible for a grant or loan. There are a number of things that generally dictate whether you can apply for a specific scheme:
- The size of your business – how many employees do you have?
- The stage of your business’s development – have you been trading for a couple of years or are you a brand new start-up?
- The industry you are in – some schemes are set up to facilitate growth in specific business sectors
- What support you require – do you need money for bigger facilities, a new product launch or a new member of staff?
How you answer all of these questions will determine whether you are eligible for the schemes on offer.
Types of grants available
The different types of support vary greatly. Most schemes are managed by local authorities and are created in order to fill a specific need within the community. That could be simply to drive more entrepreneurial spirit and increase the number of new businesses or to fill a knowledge and skills gap in the local market. Financial aid available differs from scheme-to-scheme, with a number of different variations.
Some will provide funds for start-ups, but will only provide an amount of money that the business is prepared to match. Therefore it’s important to ensure that funds are there to match any investment that comes from other schemes. rather than relying solely on third-party investments.
Grants for specific requirements
Other schemes will work on a basis whereby the business will highlight it’s specific needs. The grant could benefit companies that have been operating for one year and need to expand but don’t have the funds available for bigger premises, for example. Some grant schemes will provide the finances to allow your business to facilitate it’s specific need at that time.
Loan schemes are also common in the Local Authority grant space. Like the aforementioned grants, these could be awarded in order for a small business to fulfil a specific need. This could range from hiring and training a new member of staff, to starting production on a new product, to moving to a bigger premises.
As you will obviously be required to pay back any finances awarded with this type of scheme, it’s important to have a significant reasons to believe that this extra investment will yield an increase in turnover.
Not every one of the available schemes is strictly finance-based though. A number of the government-backed programmes focus on improving the business acumen of individuals and the profitability of a business. This means schemes are available that aim to help you market your business, to help you better understand the importance of staff training or maybe improve your web development capabilities. There are a huge range of different training schemes around.
Applying for a grant
So, how do you apply for one of these schemes?
The government’s fund for supporting small businesses has supported enterprise with millions of pounds of investment over the years. And while the process of applying for your specific loan could be time consuming and frustrating, finding the grant to suit you is fairly easy.
Just visit the Government website where you can filter the types of loans and grants available to find the one that meets your needs. Here you will see a short overview of the support offered and how to apply.
Simply follow the link and you are well on the way to applying for help with your small business.