Update regarding the kickstarting tourism and SME recovery grants

21 August 2020

A new government support package was recently announced to help small and medium sized businesses recover from the financial impact of COVID-19.

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub will be responsible for allocating these grants in the Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes area. We now have further information about the amount of funding at our disposal and have been busy putting in place the necessary processes to administer the grant funding.

Small grants, up to a maximum of £5,000 will be available, although most grants will typically be in the range of between £1,000 and £3,000 – including an allocation of grants in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The purpose of these grants is to help businesses who have been affected by COVID19 to deal with that initial impact and access specialist professional advice to help rebuild and recover. Funding can also be used to purchase minor equipment or adopt new technology to continue delivery and diversify in response to the pandemic.

We only have approximately 200 grants available in the SEMLEP area and initial demand has been high, with more than 500 businesses already signing up for more information since the funding was first announced.

With that in mind, we want to ensure that we make the process for eligible businesses to apply for these grants as straightforward and fair as possible.

Therefore, the process is as follows:

  • w/c 24th August – the eligibility guidance for the grants, including a set of Frequently Asked Questions, will be released on the SEMLEP Growth Hub website. Newsletter subscribers will be notified once this is live.
  • w/c 31st August – the application form will be published on the Growth Hub website to enable interested companies to gather any additional information together
  • w/c 14th September – the application process will open, allowing interested companies to submit their completed application forms online. Application window will close on Monday 21st
  • w/c 28th September – successful applicants will be notified and grant offer letters issued

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Grants are awarded on a discretionary basis and are subject to eligibility checks and approval.

We will provide an update on the website as soon as we have received applications to the value of the total allocation. This will give businesses the chance to submit applications to a waiting list to be potentially allocated funding once the initial grants have been assessed and any further places become available.

We are also launching ‘Peer Networks’ this Autumn. This new programme, designed exclusively for ambitious SMEs, will see diverse cohorts of individuals from companies across the South East Midlands team up to collaboratively work through common business issues and develop a plan for your organisation to build for future success.

You can register your interest in the Peer Networks programme by filling in the enquiry form at A representative of SEMLEP’s Growth Hub will be in touch to let you know when the programme is open and cohorts are scheduled.

Businesses wanting to talk through their finance and funding options, alongside their wider business planning and resilience, can call our team of business advisers. Get in touch today!

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