At the end of January this year, the government launched a £30million research programme, in the form of allocated Growth Vouchers, which enabled businesses to receive a 50% subsidy towards the cost of obtaining advice on 5 key topics that help businesses to grow. For those of you who are not aware of the scheme, here is a quick recap of everything you need to know:
What are Growth Vouchers?
Announced by the Chancellor in the 2013 Budget and championed by the PM’s Enterprise Adviser, Lord Young, the Growth Vouchers programme will deliver subsidies to help businesses access the advice they need to help them grow. The majority of small businesses that participate in this programme will be allocated vouchers to spend on strategic advice from suppliers in the private sector, matched with their own funds, on one of 5 categories of support.
On what kind of support can I spend Growth Voucher’s on?
Growth Vouchers can be used to obtain strategic advice on the following five categories:
1. Managing cash flow, late payments and negotiating finance
2. Developing skills and taking on staff
3. Improving Leadership and Management
4. Marketing, attracting and keeping customers
5. Making the most of digital technology
What is the value of a Voucher?
The Government will match your spend up to a maximum value of £2,000. This means you can spend as much or as little as you want on the advice but the maximum contribution from the Government will be £2,000. For example:
• You spend £1,200 on support: £600 from you and £600 matched from government
• You spend £4,000 on support: £2,000 from you and £2,000 from government
• You spend £5,500 on support: £3,500 from you and £2,000 from government
On the Enterprise Nation marketplace you will find suppliers who meet the minimum standards required to be suppliers as part of the Growth Vouchers programme and with whom you can spend your vouchers. As the small business owner, you pay the supplier and then claim back up to £2,000 from Government.
How can I get a Growth Voucher?
You can apply now to declare your interest in Growth Vouchers. If you meet the criteria, you will then be guided through a diagnostic filter which will help you assess your business needs. The process will be done either on-line or through a face to face meeting with an adviser. After this, you will be notified if you have received a voucher.
With a Voucher in hand, what do I do next?
You visit the Enterprise Nation marketplace and find a supplier/advisor with whom you can spend your voucher. Suppliers are members of Founding Trade & Professional Bodies so the quality of advice they offer is assured. The market place can be found here https://marketplace.enterprisenation.com/.
The scheme is now over a month old, and over 1,400 businesses have applied for a voucher. So far, 598 vouchers have been successfully allocated, worth in excess of £1 million and it is not too late to apply for a voucher for your small business.
Here at Sibbalds, as we are a full member of a professional body, we can assist you with any issues you may be having with ‘Managing cash flow, late payments and negotiating finance’ and are more than happy to answer any queries you may have on the scheme itself. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01332 242257 if you would like further information.