At the end of January 2014, the government launched a £30 million research programme to assist small businesses in accessing professional advice. The subsidised business support will be delivered in the form of randomly allocated Growth Vouchers, enabling businesses to receive a 50% subsidy towards the cost of obtaining advice on 5 key topics that help businesses to grow.
What are Growth Vouchers?
Announced by the Chancellor in the 2013 Budget and championed by the PM’s Enterprise Adviser, Lord Young, the Growth Vouchers programme will deliver subsidies to help businesses access the advice they need to help them grow. The majority of small businesses that participate in this programme will be allocated vouchers to spend on strategic advice from suppliers in the private sector, matched with their own funds, on one of 5 categories of support.
Who can apply?
Businesses are eligible for the programme if they have:
· been trading for at least one year
· 49 employees or fewer
· not sought advice in the last three years.
Around 20,000 businesses will be eligible for funding under the scheme, which runs until March 2015.
On what kind of support can I spend my Growth Voucher?
Growth Vouchers can be used to obtain strategic advice on any of the following categories:
· Managing cash flow, late payments and negotiating finance
· Developing skills and taking on staff
· Improving Leadership and Management
· Marketing, attracting and keeping customers
· Making the most of digital technology
The Government will match your spend up to a maximum value of £2,000. This means you can spend as much or as little as you want on the advice but the maximum contribution from the Government will be £2,000.
On the Enterprise Nation marketplace you will find suppliers who meet the minimum standards required to be suppliers as part of the Growth Vouchers programme and with whom you can spend your vouchers. As the small business owner, you pay the supplier and then claim back up to £2,000 from Government.
Rothmans are a registered Growth Voucher advisor – please get in touch if you would like to discuss this exciting initiative, or take a look at our page on the Enterprise Nation website.