Funding and business support are available to SMEs in Staffordshire – including a COVID-19 recovery grants programme, investment to fund wages for apprentices, and a training top-up fund for businesses to upskill their employees – to enable new and existing businesses in the county to thrive.
The Staffordshire Means Back to Business Support Scheme is a £5 million initiative being delivered in partnership by Staffordshire County Council, Stafford Borough Council, Newcastle Under Lyme Borough Council, Tamworth Borough Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, South Staffordshire Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Lichfield District Council and Cannock Chase District Council.
Objectives of Fund
The scheme comprises five separate support programmes:
- Small Business to Thrive Financial Support – grants of between £2,000 to £5,000 are available to cover additional expenditure for essential businesses staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic and/or those with a plan to recover and get back to growth.
- Start Up Scheme and Loans– supporting businesses to start up and survive their critical first months, with loans of between £3,000 to £5,000 being offered to people who have first completed the Staffordshire Start-up online course.
- Staffordshire 500– an incentive programme to support businesses to develop apprenticeship opportunities, offering contributions to the costs associated with recruiting and retaining an apprentice.
- Training Top Up for Employers – supporting up to 400 Staffordshire businesses with grants of up to £5,000 to top up training or up-skilling costs for employees.
- Ignite Top Up Scheme – additional support to students to take their first steps in their own business. Colleges across Staffordshire will be offering this opportunity to pupils.