ERDF
Funding for business development projects in Cornwall
 
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Funding for busines development projects in Cornwall

Now is the time to get funding for your business in Cornwall

We speak to Anna Staevska, Manager for Business Investment for Growth Fund (BIG 2 Fund) Cornwall, on how time is now pressing for those who want to apply.

We speak to Anna Staevska, Manager for Business Investment for Growth Fund (BIG 2 Fund) Cornwall, on how time is now pressing for those who want to apply.

So what is the BIG 2 Fund?

BIG2 is an investment programme for small and medium companies in Cornwall. Our approach is very business friendly and we offer a simple, straight forward process for businesses to access grant funding. If you have a project in mind and you meet our eligibility criteria then we can provide financial aid to help you achieve your goals.

What is the aim of the fund and where does the money come from?

We aim to create jobs by funding growth projects for businesses, based in Cornwall, who want to expand into new national and international markets. The Fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Cornwall Development Company. BIG 2 is a £3.6 million investment fund that aims to create 360 skilled jobs for Cornwall and is one of the biggest investment funds available locally.

So how are you finding giving away money?

That's a good question. You would think it would be easy to give funding to businesses. Some people think it is too hard to apply or are unaware of what we have to offer. We try to provide a simple, business friendly application process, working directly with applicants or via referral partners who help with applications.

The programme is going very well and we have committed more than £2 million so far with additional £1.2 million registered interest. We would like to find more fantastic projects that we can help become a reality with a grant from our fund.. We are looking to reach as many businesses as we can before the fund ends in December 2018.

You say the fund is ending, does that mean businesses need to meet some deadlines?

Absolutely. We are now in our final push to make sure funds are allocated before the end of this programme. We need Cornish companies with projects over £100,000 to be talking to us now and getting applications in. These applications take a little longer and we want to make sure we have time to help, support and get these businesses funded. If you have a project up to £50,000 you have a little more time but I would still advise getting initial conversations with us underway. We can provide grants of 35%-45% of their project costs.

Do you fund Start-up businesses as well?

Yes we do, and these can be very exciting as we can be part of the beginning of some very successful businesses. Most recently we have worked with myhalto.com, who appeared on Dragon's Den, and Fishy Filaments, an exceptional company with an innovative solution to the increase in plastic wastes found in the marine environment. We can fund up to 45% of the cost for all the basics that the business needs to get these projects off the ground. We encourage Start-ups to think bigger as well and how the money could provide real additionality to their ideas and maybe make them grow faster in the first few years.

So what could be on my wish list to get funding for?

If you need premises, relocation costs, refurbishment and fitting out of premises, machinery, equipment, technology, professional services such as marketing, web site design or e-commerce site you can add these to your wish list and bring it to us. Our investment can be from from £2,500 up to £75,000 dependant on your business and the number of jobs you can create.

Are there things that are not eligible?

BIG 2 cannot fund day nurseries, retail facilities, fishery and aquaculture, primary production, synthetic fibres, shipbuilding, processing and marketing of agricultural products, banking and insurance or generalised school age education. We would encourage anyone to talk to us if you have any doubts as to the eligibility of their project.

What you you advise businesses to do to start with you?

We are a friendly team. The process starts by registering your interest and completing an application on our website www.businessinvestmentforgrowth.co.uk, which should take about one hour. Then our experienced team will assess the suitability of your business and project for funding.. We will then get back to you and work with you on your application. You can also call us directly on 01872322372 to discuss your project or send us an e-mail at big@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk before submitting a formal application.

How long does it take to get approved?

This really depends on how quickly the applicant can supply the required paperwork and the quality of the documents received. The process is fairly simple and starts by registering interest and completing an application. From this our experienced team can assess the suitability of the business and project for this fund. If eligible the applicant then needs to provide procurement and financial paperwork in support to the application. Once all the paperwork is complete we can review and advise on a decision within a few weeks.

For more information on The BIG2 Fund please visit www.businessinvestmentforgrowth.co.uk or call 01872 322372

Find out more and apply for BIG2 funding by clicking here: APPLY HERE