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Monday, November 2, 2015

Businesses invited to apply for growth funding

Denbighshire County Council is inviting small and medium sized firms across the county to apply for a share of a £170,000 pot of funding being made available to encourage business growth and development.

The business grants totalling £50,000 in 2015/16 and a further £120,000 in 2016/17 are there to assist SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) where banks and other lenders have refused support for varying reasons.

At present there are no grants available either from the Local Authority or Business Wales and it is likely that any future funding from Business Wales will be focused on repayable finance. Businesses still require assistance where banks are not willing to lend and this is evident from the continuous enquiries for funding and requests from advisory services.

The scheme is open to businesses in the manufacturing, tourism (Activity, Hospitality & Accommodation), food and drink producers, science and opto-electronics and retail (where there is no direct competition) sectors.

Under this new scheme, the Council could offer up to 50% of the project cost, with a maximum grant of £5,000 available. The funding could be used for a variety of projects:

  *   Capital Items - One off purchase of an item that will remain in the business such as Equipment, machinery, IT hardware.
  *   Marketing Items - Creating new websites or additional website functions such as introduction of e-commerce, promotional literature i.e. design work for brochures and leaflets, promotional videos.
  *   Specialist training for upskilling of owner or employees can be included as eligible expenditure.
  *   Professional fees (e.g. ISO achievement) to acquire accreditation or higher accreditation for the business, to allow them access to tender opportunities
  *   Shop frontages and improvements - including bilingual signage and occupying empty premises.

Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire said: "This new funding pot offers businesses in the county the opportunity to grow their business which hopefully in turn will see increase in turnover.  The funding could also assist in creating new jobs, encouraging take up of empty shops and assist in staff training.

"This is a great opportunity for businesses in the county to invest in their businesses. Using this funding available could pay dividends in the future and we would encourage all small and medium enterprises to consider how they could use this funding to progress their business and submit an application".

"As a council we have made working with our businesses a priority and this innovative approach is testimony to that despite difficult financial constraints, we appreciate that a thriving business sector is key to improving the economy in Denbighshire".

* For further information, please contact the Council's Economic Development team, on 01824 706701 or via the website: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/business

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