Kickstart Tourism Grants / Restart and Recovery SME Grant

The Government has announced two more grant funds to assist smaller businesses in their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of these are to be managed by Enterprise M3, who can be found HERE (https://www.enterprisem3.org.uk/)

These grant schemes will open on 15th September and important information, including eligibility criteria and all the information you will need to have ready to submit an expression of interest through our gateway diagnostic tool are detailed below. 

Please note, grant payments will not be made until after the purchase of the item or service your business has paid and claimed for.

Funding is extremely limited and we expect the scheme to be very popular, so expressions of interest (EoI) should be made as soon as possible after the scheme opens. We are not operating a waiting list so decisions will be made on a first come, first served basis. The gateway diagnostic will close when the expression of interest (EoI) limit has been reached. 

Kickstart Tourism Grant

Communities that depend on tourism will receive a major boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package.

Activities supported through the £10 million grant can include:

Small grants (£1,000 - £5,000) to:

  • help businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital
  • purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

Restart and Recovery SME Grant

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

Further information to help you prepare to submit an expression of interest:

The Kickstarting Tourism and Restart and Recovery Grants have been created, specifically to help SMEs in the Enterprise M3 area to adapt and diversify following the impact of COVID-19.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible SMEs can access grants of between £1,000 - £3,000 (up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances) for specialist advice.

To be eligible for this grant:

  • You must be an SME (including third sector organisations, social enterprises and trading charities) based in the EM3 area (map below).
  • Your business needs to have been negatively impacted by COVID-19
  • Your business must have the ability to survive following the impact of COVID-19
  • Your business staff headcount must be below 250 FTE. Businesses with more than 250 employees will not be eligible.
  • Your business must have a balance sheet of below €43million.
  • Your business must have a turnover of below €50million. 
  • If your business has received state aid in the last 3 years the total should not be in excess of €200,000. Businesses exceeding this level of state aid funding will not be eligible. 
  • Businesses operating in an excluded sector i.e. nuclear, tobacco, airport infrastructure (see ERDF regulation 1301/2013 Art 3(3), fishery and aquaculture sector, undertakings involved in the primary production of agricultural products, undertakings active in the sector of processing and marketing of agricultural products will not be eligible.

Expenditure eligibility:

The grant is available to help SMEs access one-to-one specialist advice to address their immediate needs. The grant must cover 100% of the cost of the service or product and cannot be used to part-fund expenditure. 

Examples of eligible expenditure on professional services include:

  • Review of the business strategy 
  • Strategic review of business models
  • HR, financial and legal advice 
  • Coaching and mentoring in leadership and management development / Change management 
  • Innovation strategy to adapt and diversify products/services  
  • The introduction of new technology
  • Developing or revising marketing/digital strategies to reach new markets
  • Mitigating the impact of social distancing measures
  • Rebuilding a viable business model
  • Developing product offerings
  • Legal and environmental health compliance
  • Skills analysis and development plans 
  • Workforce management 
  • Employee engagement, welfare and wellbeing

Please note these are examples only and not an exhaustive list. 

Grants may also be used to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify. For example, a tourism business may need to purchase a second cash register to enable adequate social distancing in its gift shop.

Other examples of potentially eligible expenditure on equipment (where a Covid-19 related impact can be demonstrated) could include: 

  • IT hardware to support home working 
  • Software to enable secure remote working
  • Online sales/purchasing platforms 
  • Equipment for remote working including desks, chairs etc. 
  • Cloud based storage

Please note: if successful following a formal grant application, grant funding will be paid upon production of an invoice for the service or item you have procured. 

What you'll need for your expression of interest (EoI):

You will need to have the following information to hand when completing the eligibility diagnostic:

  • Business name
  • Contact name
  • Email address or contact information 
  • Trading address (incl. postcode)
  • Number of employees based on Full Time Equivalents
  • SIC Code/Nature of business
  • Balance sheet total for last financial year in euros 
  • Turnover total for last financial year in euros 
  • Net profit for last financial year in euros 
  • The value of any state aid funding received within the previous 3 years (based on your business' financial year)

You will also be asked: 

  • To provide a brief overview of the activities of the business, your products and services. 
  • If your business is part of the Visitor Economy (for the Kickstart Tourism grant). 
  • The current issues/challenges that you face and what support you are seeking.
  • Does your current business plan adapt and diversify in order to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • If you have reviewed information on other business support provision available and that this is the only provision that meets your business needs?
  • A​​​​​​re you currently accessing or in the process of accessing other business or grant support? If yes, which organisation are you working with?

Important note: it is anticipated that the call for expressions of interest will be open for a very short period before it becomes oversubscribed. Therefore, to ensure you have the best chance of submitting your EoI, please have the above information to hand before you enter the Gateway Diagnostic Tool. 

How you’ll be assessed:

Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis. All decisions will be final, with no opportunity to appeal. Eligibility checks will also take the following into account:

  • Your potential to respond/adapt/strengthen from the impact of COVID-19 
  • Your ability to identify opportunities to rebuild following the impact of COVID-19    
  • Your ability to deliver within the timescales available (one month)

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