As a small business owner in the UK, you may be considering business grants and funding options via government sources; to help cover some of the startup costs, the expenses you may have and to give you a quick financial boost.
If that is the case, British business grants may be available and in this guide we will be discussing the steps how to access these grant schemes.
Before we go any further, it is important to know that not everyone is eligible for a business grant and it is always a good idea to work with a funding expert to determine the funding options you can apply for your own small business.
British Business Grants
The British government has created a number of business grant schemes to help small business owners succeed. This was especially needed during the pandemic times as many small business owners have suffered losses.
These business grants have been created to help business owners pay for various expense such as covering the cost of rent, utilities, wages, training, going green as well during the pandemic times, renovations and equipment purchase to abide by the regional laws.
The business grants, often treated as free money, is money that is provided by various local governments, the regional government and in many cases, funded via the national government. This money is given to the needing small business owners who use the funds to improve their business, to better the economy without a concern of having to pay the funds back.
Most business grants that are provided by the government are considered non repayable – meaning, the money does not need to be paid back.
Why does the government do this?
Well, the British government provides these business grants to help business owners improve; this ultimately ensures that the business can generate a revenue, hire employees, pay taxes – which also creates a cycle.
What are business grants available for?
The British government provides a number of business grants to help with a variety of startup and expansion costs.
Some of the more popular expense that these grants cover will include:
- Research and Development
- Job Creation
- Training Costs
- Renovations (not all)
- Wage Support
- Going Green
While this is a limited list, it is important to know that the British government creates these business grants to ensure that it helps the economy, rather than just your own small business. Most expenses that a business owner has that may be considered for the business grant, will and should fit within the above mentioned funding criteria.
In some cases, depending on your business, you may be able to obtain government grants to cover more startup costs, or money to pay for advertising, to purchase the needed tools and equipment, or inventory – or to go online.
One of the best way to ensure you find out what business grants in the UK you may be eligible for is to try the Funding Database.
What if I am not eligible for a business grant?
If your small business is not eligible for a business grant in the UK, don’t give up just yet.
Grants and government funding schemes are constantly changing – as new options keep coming out and being introduced, it is a good idea to stay on top of it, to ensure you don’t miss any.
If at this time you are not eligible for a business grant, it is a good idea to consider alternative government funding options, including government loans and tax breaks.
In comparison to business grants, government loans are much easier to obtain and are more readily available. The government in this case takes less risk, thus are more open to giving the funds. The tax breaks are helpful as they are also free money, however money that you have to have initially spent, in order to get a credit or a tax refund.
What is needed to apply to a British business grant?
As a small business owner in the UK, applying to these business grants is no easy task – but is very doable with the proper guidance and expert help.
To ensure you can apply successfully to a business grant, you need to ensure a few things:
- Ensure you have a completed business plan
- Have your financials projected and ready to share
- Know what you need funding for (have the specifics)
- Figure out the right schemes to apply to
- Ensure the applications are completed and correct!
One of the first steps you want to ensure you cover is having a completed business plan.
As most British business grant agencies will ask to see your business plan, to help determine if it’s worth investing into your business, this is the first step you want to have completed and verified with an expert.
Your business plan should be able to explain your business model, discuss your growth strategy, marketing plan and help the reader fully understand what it is you want to do – or need the funds for.
If you properly set up your business plan, it should contain your financial projections as well.
The financial projections should be able to tell the business grant agency of your potential in the form of a balance sheet, cash flow and a profit/loss statement. As most funding agencies will want to know what to expect financially speaking, the financial projections are a great way to show your business model working on paper.
After completing your business plan with your financials, this will help you determine your startup costs, so that you may use it to determine what you need funding for. By knowing your expenses and knowing what you need the money for, this will help you become eligible for multiple business grants or funding schemes.
By following these steps, this will help you determine the best schemes to apply to – be it a business grant, or a government loan, not all funding schemes and agencies fund every business – so finding the right scheme that will fund your business can take time.
Be sure to work with an expert to help locate the best business grants in the UK.
How to access the British business grants?
To access the British government grants, you will have to have a business plan completed – along with proper financials and a breakdown of your funding needs.
Once this is in place, you can review each agency individually, be sure to have 7 to 8 weeks of your time to go through these agencies, one by one to determine the best options for you.
As each agency has it’s own website, it may take some time.
Alternatively you may use the Funding Database provided by UKStartups which will help you locate all available British business grants and government funding schemes in one place.