£3.1m grant fund to help small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity has been extended for nine months to March 2023
The BIG (Business Investment for Growth) project has been extended to 2023.
We offer grants from £2,500 to £50,000 to qualifying businesses and can meet up to 45% of project costs for small businesses, and up to 35% for medium-sized businesses.
The project had been due to finish next month but has been extended in recognition of the impacts that the covid pandemic has had on businesses, including supply chain issues. The fund has around £600,000 still available to support businesses in Cornwall.
Lyn Newby, BIG Productivity Programme Manager, said: “We’ve seen businesses with good projects having to put them on the back burner because of covid-related issues, especially when it comes to supply chain problems and a shortage of components. We successfully applied to our funders for a project extension and that means we will continue to March 2023.
"In addition to grant funding, we also have a small number of places left for our Advanced Advisory Service, which provides 12 hours of free expert consultancy tailored to business needs. The service has helped transform the productivity of businesses it has worked with, saving one Cornish company 30% of their normal production time simply by analysing and reorganising their production process.
"So if you are an SME looking to improve your productivity contact us today, whether it’s for grant support, expert consultancy, or both.”
BIG Productivity is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, and is delivered by Cornwall Council. It was formally launched in January 2020 and since then has engaged with more than 220 Cornish businesses in a range of sectors.
Among them is artisan food producer The Cornish Italian, based at St Erme near Truro, which secured a grant for £5,657 to buy a new blast freezer to chill its range of tiramisu desserts, which has facilitated securing national contracts.
Founder Ugo Massabo said: “It’s a gamechanger. We were looking to buy a blast freezer which is a very expensive machine, we couldn’t have achieved this capability without BIG’s support which has been essential to the future of the business.”
Its aim is to support businesses to become more efficient and help Cornwall close the productivity gap with other parts of the UK and Europe.
The grant funding can be used towards nearly all types of expenditure (except business as usual activities or salaries), providing it supports the company’s growth and improves productivity. An applicant must be able to cash flow the project before the grant can be paid.
For more information about BIG Productivity email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01872-322368