As a small business owner in the United Kingdom, you may be entitled to various funding options offered by different levels of the UK government.
This funding can often come in the form of a government grant, government loan or even tax breaks or credits.
If you are starting your small business or considering expansion and are in need of financial support, government funding may be an option for you.
In this case, let’s review the most desired government funding programs: grants for small businesses in the UK.
Government Grants for Small Businesses (SME’s) in the UK
The UK government provides multiple grants to support small businesses across the United Kingdom. These funds help grow small business communities which in turn help create jobs and boost the economy.
A win-win for all parties involved.
That being said, government grants are not always for everyone.
They are only available for very specific funding needs and in order to benefit from these government grants, a business owner must meet the criteria, qualifications and must provide an updated business plan to show the business model and intended use of the funds in order to even be considered.
Keep in mind that each government funding programme, especially the various government grants available for UK small businesses, has its own set of rules and criteria. While not all programs have the same factors, in general they will include the business location, the industry, the specific funding needs and the amount of funds needed.
Types of Government Grants
Any funding provided by the UK government that is “free money” is often considered a grant, but the various levels of the UK government offer different types of grants.
- Non repayable government grants
- Partial contributions government grants
- One-time and renewable government grants
The non repayable government grants are often the best type of grant programs a business owner can obtain. These funds are provided for various needs and are non repayable.
This means that when a business owner obtains these funds, they do not need to give them back. However, the funds obtained must be approved by the government for a specific purpose and cannot be used for anything else a business may need, other than what the funds have been approved for.
Partial contribution government grants are great as they will provide the business owner funding that may be needed. However, there is a catch – the business owner must provide funds of their own to meet the partial contribution.
For example: If you require £50,000 in grant funding, the government may provide a partial contribution to you; they can provide £40,000 if you provide the other £10,000. If you fail to provide the £10,000, the government will not fund you.
While this is just an example, the various partial contribution government grants are just like the non-repayable government grants but they require you to put some of your own money down as part of an involvement. The percentage or need for your funds depends on the program.
Lastly, the one time and renewable government grants are programs which are offered the most. This type of government grant is given to business owners for a specific “one-time” use such as providing training to employees at the start of their job, placing solar panels on your commercial property roof, or adding in an irrigation system to a farm.
These programmes exist to provide funds when you need, to cover the costs associated with what you need, and can be renewed year after year if the need reoccurs.
Applying for Government Grants
While there may be hundreds of government grants available across the UK, not every program will be right for you, your business and your needs.
Before you apply, it is important to determine your eligibility and ensure that you have all the documentation you will need.
Generally speaking, before you apply for any funding program, be sure to have your business plan ready, in which your funding needs are clearly broken down and explained and your financial projections are clear and understandable.
If you require assistance finding government grants or any other type of government funding programme, experts at UK Startups can help you locate schemes and guide you through the application process.