West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, has welcomed a new £1.25bn government support package for businesses driving innovation in the UK.
It includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium-sized businesses focusing on research and development.
Tim said: “I would encourage businesses in the West of England to find out more about how they can access this important funding. Our region has always led the way in innovation, and innovation will be key to helping our region’s economy recover in the longer term.”
The Mayor is also encouraging businesses impacted by coronavirus to make sure they apply for previously announced government funding: “As the lead organisation for our region’s economic response to this crisis, I’m hearing that some businesses aren’t applying for the grants or loans that they may be entitled to,” he said. “These support programmes are ready to go and help firms in our region, so I would encourage businesses to visit our West of England Growth Hub website – www.wearegrowth.co.uk – to find out more about the grants available, including the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. The last thing we need is for firms not accessing the support they need.”
Small and medium-sized enterprises can also call the Growth Hub on 0117 4566955 to speak to an Enterprise Executive, who can answer queries and help them to find the latest information and advice.
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has secured additional funding from Government for the West of England Growth Hub, to help step up support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. As well as helping SMEs find the right support, the Growth Hub is capturing their concerns and feeding them back to government to help shape the practical response to the impact of the virus.
“This extra funding will help us extend the range of support we can offer small and medium-sized businesses to help them deal with current economic challenges,” said Tim. “Alongside this, we’re adapting our business support and skills programmes to reflect the changing needs of businesses. This includes changes to Future Bright announced earlier this month, to help people whose jobs and income have been affected by coronavirus.”
“While of course public safety is the top priority, the Combined Authority is leading the region’s economic response to this emergency and we’re working with government and our regional partners, to look at how we can secure the region’s recovery and growth for the longer term.”
You can find out more about the work the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership are leading at https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/support-for-business-through-coronavirus-covid-19/