Small business owners in the United Kingdom can apply for government grants. The local government, the regional government, and the national government of the UK are all potential sources of funding.
It is common practise for the government to approve spending based on how the money will be spent. This means that business owners can take advantage of a wide range of government programmes that provide financial aid in the form of grants, loans, and tax breaks.
It’s possible to apply for one of the many government grants or loans available to stimulate the economy and advance your company’s growth. This ensures that both new and established businesses have access to the government funding opportunities that are out there.
Consequently, there are rules that must be followed to guarantee that any government money you receive is used appropriately and not squandered. While most applicants do use the money for legitimate expenses, some do engage in shady practises.
Learn from the successes and failures of some of the most unusual recipients of public funding in this entertaining and informative article.
Keep in mind that anytime you are ready to do a funding search, to see all government options that are available, the Funding Database can get you access to over 1,500 government grants, government loans and various funding options. You can be the next “good” success story!
£32,000 government grant
Helene, a Londoner, has received a grant of £32,000 to help her flower shop make the necessary leasehold improvements. In the past six months, Helene has applied for and been denied a grant five times so that she can make improvements to her store that will make her inventory last longer and make a better impression on customers. Helene’s dedication to the application process and willingness to make adjustments to her business plan in response to feedback from the grant-giving organisation make this a truly remarkable tale of financial success.
£75,000 government loan
Ben from Brisol was granted a £75,000 government loan on a conditionally repayable term, which means he will not have to make any payments during the first year of business. Ben and his construction company were given the green light to use the money to hire new employees and cover the costs of sending existing employees to safety training. Although the money was intended to go toward wage subsidies and training, it ended up paying for equipment, including Ben’s personal purchase of a used pickup truck. Since it is against the terms of the agency to fund anything other than training and wage support, the funds were sent to collection once the government agency that approved them found out.
Keep in mind that if you apply for certran funding, you must use the money exclusively for the stated purpose or face penalties and the possibility of having to repay the money.
£19,500 in tax credits
Charles, who runs a successful web design business out of Liverpool, was able to get a tax credit for his digital spending by submitting receipts and invoices from the previous fiscal year. The £19,500 in tax refunds really came in handy the following year, when Charles was able to put that money toward expanding his business.
The fact that this is Charles’s 14th tax credit in 16 years (for a total of £141,000) is what makes this government funding success story unbelievable, not the tax credits themselves.
While most business owners don’t take advantage of tax credits because they require spending money first, Charles’s company was able to keep over £141,000 in cash.
£120,000 government grant
After Maryann expanded her business and hired multiple technicians to work at her 2 locations in Birmingham, she applied for and received a £120,000 non repayable government grant.
Maryann was able to pay her new employees a competitive wage and grow her business thanks to the expansion made possible by the government’s nonrepayable grants.
Unbelievably, Maryann was initially approved for a £120,000 loan, which she desperately did not want but ultimately accepted because it helped her grow. However, she waited and applied for government grant options, and eventually received a £120,000 grant that contributed to her success.
£214,000 in non repayable government grants
To help his transportation and distribution company in Edinburgh, Scotland shift its focus on reducing emissions, Victor received a two hundred fourteen thousand pound (£214,000) non-repayable grant.
Over the course of a year, Victor applied for the same grant several times, each time being turned down because he lacked the necessary funds to make the necessary modifications to his trucks and warehouse in order to qualify for emission funds. In order to get his business off the ground and earn the necessary certifications, Victor borrowed money from friends and family. This enabled him to submit his business plan for a grant and receive the necessary £214,000 in funding.
£82,000 from multiple government grants
Over the course of a year, Peter, from Manchester, was awarded £82,000 from three separate grant programmes. Peter’s goal wasn’t to build a successful company but rather to find a way to divert £82,000 in “renovation and hiring costs” to his own benefit. Peter was unable to provide the agency with proof of his investment when they asked for it, damaging his case and subjecting him to a hefty fine and a stringent repayment and collection schedule on the money he had borrowed.
Lesson: Don’t borrow funds you don’t plan on using for your business – correctly.
£341,000 a government backed loan
A government-backed loan of £341,000 helped Lenney of Ajax purchase a new franchise. All of the money went toward paying for the franchise, including her initial down payment, and the rest went toward remodelling an existing building to accommodate the new enterprise.
What makes this so extraordinary, you might be wondering. Lenney has a credit score of 400 and was denied even a £5,000 personal loan on her own. However, she saved £50,000 over the course of three years to use as a down payment, and she and a business partner with a higher credit score applied for and received a £341,000 government-backed loan.
£125,000 partial grant contribution
Nottingham natives Jemma and Frank were ecstatic to learn that they had been awarded a grant of £125,000 from the government to expand their home nursing care business. Frank and Jemma had to come up with 30% of the required funds on their own in order to qualify for the funds, which came in the form of a partial contribution.
Frank got a second job, working late into the night, to save up the money they’d need to apply for the programme and feel confident that they’d be able to afford it if they were awarded funding. The extra effort was worthwhile.
£300,000 in funding for equipment
After much effort, Jaspaul of Coventry was awarded a £300,000 government grant to improve his farm lands with a new irrigation system, better equipment, and enhanced land structures. However, the deal quickly fell through when Jaspaul was unable to provide documentation proving his ownership of the land/farm.
And lastly £327,000 renovation grant and loan Michael from Leicester, who was looking to start an alcohol-based business, got in over his head when he was given a £20,000 grant and a £307,000 government loan. In the end, neither choice was accepted because Michael was unable to produce the necessary paperwork to prove that his licencing and approval had been “verified” at the time of approval. Michael spent six months collecting the necessary documents for the verification process, then contacted the grant agency and the loan agency again, where he eventually negotiated to have the funds reinstated.
Now, to help Michael move his business forward, he has been offered a £500,000 loan in addition to the £20,000 grant he received previously.
Many possible outcomes exist when interacting with the government. The good news is that there is a lot of room for manoeuvre when it comes to securing financing for your business. But if you break the rules, your business could suffer, and some of these unbelievable companies learned the hard way what a penalty can mean: a decline in business that they desperately wanted to avoid.
To spend tax money dishonestly is a serious offence. In addition to posing a risk to your company, improper use of these funds could result in a hefty fine.
Government-approved funds must be used exclusively for the purposes for which they were intended.