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Growth Vouchers – Helping Small Business Afford Strategic Advice

Written by Jon Cooper

The government has launched the Growth Vouchers Programme to support small businesses invest in strategic business advice, under European State Aid rules.  The Programme offers matching funding of up to £2,000.00 to help a business afford:

–          finance and cash flow planning

–          recruitment and staff development

–          the improvement of leadership and management skills

–          planning a marketing campaign

–          optimizing the use of digital technology

The Growth Vouchers Programme is open to small and micro businesses, including the self-employed, which fulfil all of the following criteria:

–          have forty-nine or less full time employees.

–          have a turnover or Balance Sheet total of less than €10,000,000.

–          be independent with no more than 25% owned by outside organisations.

–          have been actively selling goods and/or services for at least one year.

–          be registered in England.

–          have an email address.

–          have received less than €200,000 in state grants in the last three years.

–          have not applied for Growth Vouchers before nor have already paid for any strategic business advice in the last three years.

In making your decision whether to apply for the Growth Vouchers Programme, an important consideration is that this Programme is being run on a lottery basis.  As a result, some of the eligible applications will be randomly selected to receive the Growth Vouchers.

Another consideration is that you need to apply for the Growth Vouchers before discussing or agreeing a package of support with a supplier against which the Growth Vouchers would be redeemed.

Finally, the Growth Vouchers may not be used to cover the cost of purchasing ‘business as usual’ services such as building a website; paying for advertising; the acquisition of software; buying any new equipment; staff training; or accountancy fees.

If you decide that it would be worthwhile for your business to participate in the Growth Vouchers Programme your application can be submitted online at https://smallbusinessgrowthvouchers.service.gov.uk.

At CooperFaure, we have extensive knowledge of government-funded schemes for SMEs and sole traders.  If you would like to discuss your circumstances or have any questions, please contact welcome@cooperfaure.co.uk to arrange an initial free consultation.

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