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Small Business Grants in the UK – What Help Is Available?

Now more than ever, small businesses are at risk of ruin amidst the cost of living crisis. Energy is more expensive than it has been in decades. Interest rates on loans and mortgages are climbing and consumers are struggling to get by, let alone have any spare money to spend. 

So what lifelines are available to SMEs? One of the answers is grants. 

There are numerous grants accessible to businesses across the UK that can help fund anything from maintenance work to specific projects. You just need to know how to find them. Here we have picked a few that we believe are especially beneficial during this time that could save you a lot of money!

Energy Bill Relief Scheme 

This scheme provides relief on energy bills for non-domestic customers in the UK. Eligible discounts will be applied between 1st October 2022- 31st March 2023 and are open to nearly all businesses, charities, hospitals, schools and care homes. 

Supplied by: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 
Amount: N/A
Location: National
Available to: All 
Closing date: 31st March 2023

Workplace Charging Scheme

This is a voucher-based scheme that supplies eligible businesses with support for the purchasing and installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points. Eligible businesses can use the funding to install charging points for staff, fleets or visitors. 

Supplied by: Funding organisation Office for Zero Emission Vehicles 
Amount: £350- £14,000
Location: National
Available to: Non-profit, Public Sector, Private Sector 
Closing date: 31st March 2024

Help to Grow: Management 

This scheme offers a business management course for owners, leaders and senior management in all business sectors, and is expected to be completed alongside full-time work. It will take 50 hours to complete over 12 weeks and is 90% funded. All employers have to pay is a one-off fee of £750. 

Supplied by: Small Business Charter 
Amount: £1- £6750 
Location: National
Available to: Private Sector 
Closing date: 31st December 2022 

Help to Grow: Digital 

This government-backed scheme supports eligible small-medium businesses to choose, purchase and install software into their business. 

Supplied by: Government 
Amount: Discount of up to 50% or £5,000 (exc. VAT)
Location: National
Available to: Uk registered. Trading for more than 12 months. 1-249 employees. 
Closing date: Ongoing 

UK Tradeshow Programmed (UKTP)

Available to businesses that are currently exporting, this grant covers some of the costs of attending exhibits or overseas tradeshows/conferences. For businesses who are exploring the possibility of exporting, there is help available too. Attending these events can help businesses gain important market knowledge and increase brand awareness and secure new customers. 

Supplied by: Department of International Trade 
Amount: £200- £4,000
Location: National
Available to: Private Sector 
Closing date: 31st March 2023 

EV Infrastructure Grant for Staff and Fleets 

This grant funds small and medium-sized businesses to install EV charging points for staff and fleet vehicles. It also can be used to build supporting infrastructure. 

Supplied by: Department of Transport
Amount: Up to £75,000 or 75% off the cost of installing the charging points and or infrastructure. 
Location: National
Available to: Private Sector, Non-profit  
Closing date: 31st March 2024

Gigabit Broadband voucher scheme 

The UK government is offering up to £210m worth of vouchers for people suffering from slow broadband speeds in rural areas. Eligible candidates and businesses can receive anything from £1500- £3500 worth of vouchers. 

Supplied by: HM Government 
Amount: Total- £210m 
Location: National
Available to: See full criteria here
Closing date: Ongoing  

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

This government scheme is designed to help SMEs raise money when they start trading by offering tax relief to investors when they buy shares in the company. Businesses can receive a maximum of £150,000 through investments. 

Supplied by: HM Revenue & Customs 
Amount: Up to £150,000
Location: National
Available to: See full criteria here 
Closing date: Ongoing  

Countryside Stewardship Grants 

Countryside Stewardship Grants offer hundreds of different grants to help people make improvement to their businesses. All grants have varying criteria and offer different sums of money. For more details, follow the links above or below. 

Supplied by: Rural Payments Agency and Natural Agency 
Amount: Varying 
Location: National
Available to: See individual criteria here 
Closing date: Ongoing  

Woodland Creation Planning Grant 

This grant funds public bodies, landowners and land managers in the design and support of new woodland. Funding is capped at £30,000 per project and has detailed, strict criteria that can be found via the links above and below. 

Supplied by: Forestry Commission  
Amount: Max £30,000
Location: National
Available to: Based in England. Minimum of 5 hectares. See full criteria here  
Closing date: Ongoing  

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme 

The Prince’s Trust offers development awards to young people aged between 16-30 who are looking to kickstart their businesses. The provided funds will help towards training, including:

  • Tools, equipment or uniforms for a qualification or job 
  • Job licence fees
  • Transport to a new job until you receive your first wage
  • Course fees up to Level 3 (A level equivalent)  

Supplied by: Prince’s Trust 
Amount: £175- £250 
Location: National
Available to: Uk residents between 16-30 who are unemployed or work less than 16 hours per week, or are in compulsory education for less than 14 hours per week
Closing date: Ongoing 

Innovative Smart Grants 

This grant funding program supports SMEs and their partners in developing disruptive innovations with the potential for a rapid economic return to the UK. Smart is offering £25m to eligible technology-based businesses that have game-changing ideas that will directly benefit the UK economy. 

Supplied by: Innovative UK
Amount: Total- £25,000,000
Location: National
Available to: UK-registered SMEs that carry out all their projects in the UK (read more about eligibility criteria via this link.
Closing date: 30th April 2026 

LSE Generate 

The LSE Generate Funding competition is open to 3-5 winners who will share a massive £20,000 towards their business. All entries must be by LSE students or alumni and must be promoting a commercial product or service, not a charity. 

Supplied by: London School of Economics (LSE)
Amount: Total- £20,000
Location: National
Available to: LSE Students of Alumni 
Closing date: Twice yearly 

CRACK IT Challenges 

This competition is challenge-led, funding collaborations between SMEs, academics and industries to solve scientific and business problems that’ll deliver 3Rs benefits. This includes developing commercial products or improving business processes. 

Supplied by: Scientific and Academic sponsors 
Amount: £1m for up to 3 years 
Location: National
Available to: UK or EU based. Single organisation. Public or Private Sector. 
Closing date: Ongoing 

If you’re struggling to get accepted for a grant, there are a number of other ways to secure funding. Matt is an experienced lender who has lent in excess of £500m to more than 350 companies and is always on the lookout for more. 

To find out more about his lending terms, visit this page for more information or get in touch!



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