A £1.8 million fund aimed at SMEs has been announced by North East enterprise agency NBSL, in a move which will help regional businesses develop and grow.
SMEs are to be given access to funding of up to 40% from the North East Business Support Fund, to a maximum of £1400 for business improvement projects. Businesses will then be able to use the funding to bring in specialist advice and assistance with business growth planning, as well as developing specific core areas of the business, including products, processes, finance marketing or people.
Phil Langton NBSL CEO said: “NBSL is now working hard to contact as many North East businesses as we can to bring this business support programme to their attention.
“It is essential to support the private sector economy to develop, become more competitive and create new jobs for the local economy.
“This programme will do just that – assist local businesses to grow their market share, create jobs and fulfil their full economic potential to support the North East’s economy over the next couple of years”
Businesses looking for support in expansion planning, web design or development, marketing or brand design, succession planning and product development.
It is hoped that 1300 individual businesses in the region will be supported by the fund.
John King, North East Business Support Manager for NBSL said: “We want to increase business competitiveness by putting businesses in the position where they can compete more effectively locally, nationally and internationally.
“We want them to help them become more competitive, more sustainable and to help them grow.”
“We are fully aware the businesses do not have the time to spend hours applying for funding, so we have ensured that it is a simple fund, with a simple application process, but with the intention of achieving very dynamic results.”
To be eligible for the funding, business must have less than 250 full time employees and a turnover not exceeding 50 million euros. They must also have issued their first invoice, be preparing to grow over the next three years, have a project which equates to 12 hours or more support, have a B2B client base, and have recieved to NBSL L&M funding since 1st April 2011.
John continued: “It offers North East businesses access to business improvement support at its very best.
“For some time now, funding support at this level has not been available, so we’re already experiencing a very high demand”.
On hearing the announcement of this new funding, Tony Wright, Managing Director of PWA Unlimited, a Tyne and Wear based Service Provider who are Business & Personal Development Specialists said: “This is very timely funding which will help businesses make real improvements to the way they operate.
“In addition, it presents a fantastic opportunity for those companies who know what they need to do to improve their businesses but have been held back due to a lack of financial support.
“NBSL are very easy to work with and I know will help to make the application process as smooth as possible”