As a British business onwer, starting or expanding a business is no easy task.
With hundreds of things to check off the to-do list as you go through the process, the big one always remains as “get funding for your business”.
Funding is very much needed to start a business successfully.
While you can avoid spending so much on various things, there are a lot of expenses you simply can’t avoid – and the funding would come in handy.
This funding, be it from friends, family members, partners, investors, your savings, the banks or the government, is always best early on.
The UK government provides a lot of funding support for small business owners across the UK.
These funds often come from various levels of the British govenrment and are often in the form of small business grants, government loans, or tax breaks/credits.
Different types of small business government funding options
When most people think about government funding, they often refer to the small busienss grant fund, or government backed loans – but, this is just the beginning of what the UK govenrment has to offer.
Each funding type has sub-categories, or a further broken fund. These all start with the traditional govenrment grants, govenrment loans, tax breaks and credits as mentioned, but break down further into:
Small Business Government Grants
- Non-repayable small business grants
The non repayable small business grant fund programmes are often options that are most desired. These non repayable options are exactly what they say they are – non repayable.
This means, you as the small business onwer will get a lump sum in most cases to use towards your funding needs, and the money does not need to be paid back.
- Partial contributions
While this is considered a small business grant, it does require you as the business owner to put up some money. The government agency makes a contribution to your busienss, in most cases, a non repayable funding amount, but expects you to match a certain percentage. Without your contribution, you would not be eligible.
- One time and renewable business grants
The one time small business grants are simply lump sum payments by the govenrment agencies to cover your startup or expansion costs – not all, but specific things. Once the payment has been made, you can re-apply for additional renewable options that fund those same funding need, on-going; such as wages, rent…etc
- Direct grants, awards and non-direct grants
Other forms of small business grants are direct grants or awards which are again, money provide to you as a small business owner to help you cover various finding needs. In addition to those, there are grants that are non-direct, as in not money, but have a value attached. This can be consulting services, assistance and guidance.
To see if your small business in the UK is eligible for any small business grants, you can use the Funding Database and access all small business grant funds and govenrment loan options directly – with expert help and guidance.
- Low interest or No interest government loans
Much like traditional bank loans, the government loans that provide no interest, or come with very low interest and are provided by the govenrment provide many benefits – often starting with better terms than the traditional lenders. These type of funding options are often much easier to obtain funding from as well.
- Partially repayable government loans
A partially repayable govenrment loan is like any other loan programme, however only a part of it has to be repaid back. The govenrment agency will set the terms and provide you specific as to how to pay back the loan, how much and when.
- Guaranteed government loans (secured)
Guaranteed govenrment loans, also called secured loans are helpful as they protect you by having the govenrment act as your co-signer or guarantor. If things go wrong, a percentage of the funding provided to you in the form of the plan is paid back by the govenrment.
- Guarantor backed government loans
Certain loans will require you to have a guarantor. These loans often are ones where you are asking for over 10,000 in funding!
As for the tax breaks and tax credits, they range from tax credits for hiring, wages, equipment purchase, debt repayment, land and property credits…etc
To see the types of loans that may be available for your small business, you can check the Funding Database which has over a 1,000 different small business grants, government loans, tax options..etc
How to apply for small business grants from the government?
Now that you are aware of the different types of small business grants from the government, the big question is, “how do you apply for small business grants?”
When you decide to apply to a small business grant fund programme, it is important to know a few things:
- Know that the programme you are applying to is the correct one – do you meet the criteria?
- Ensure you have a solid business plan created.
- Have your financial projections or financial statements ready.
- Complete the applications with the funding purpose in mind
- Have an expert review your application before submission
With any small business grant applications, you want to ensure that before you apply, that you are applying to the correct programme.
The last thing you want to do is fill out the application, waste your time, and get a denial back.
The process on how to apply for small business grants starts by confirming you are eligible.
As each option of the govenrment, including these small business grants have their own criteria. These requirements must be met before you apply.
One of the top requirements starts with having a completed business plan.
By completing the business plan, you should also be completing your financial projections.
If you are unsure how to create financial projections to access the various small business grants and government loans, you can get expert help here.
Complete the applications with the funding purpose in mind
A big step, and one to keep in mind when applying for a small business grant!
Figure out the reason why the small busienss grant fund was created. What is the purpose of the fund – for the agency?
By understanding what they are trying to accomplish, you can better optimize your grant application and your business plan to match the funding need.
With doing this, small business owners improve their changes quite a lot!
When all is done and you are ready – you can always ask a UK Startups expert to take a look at your business plan, applications and to ensure that you have all that is needed.
The UK Startup experts are skilled on how to apply for small business grants, with numerous successes.