The Business Grant scheme for 2017/18 is now open for applications.
What is it?
Winchester City Council’s Business Grant is for start-up (including those still in the initial start-up process) and micro-businesses (1 to 9 employees) within the Winchester District. It can be applied for at any time during the financial year.
Only one grant can be awarded per business, so if your application is successful, you will not be able to apply for it again in subsequent years. Grants are typically up to £1500, but in exceptional circumstances the grants panel may be able to award up to £5000. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be judged on the criteria below.
What can it be spent on?
The grant is intended for items or services which will allow your business to develop, such as:
- IT equipment
- Website design
- Employment or recruitment advice
- Recruitment costs
- Training and/or professional development
- Help with relocation costs to expand the business
This list is not exhaustive.
Please note that the grant cannot be used for items that have already been purchased or ordered, or for day-to-day running costs, such as rent or living costs such as bills and rates.
What criteria are used to assess the application?
You will need to provide evidence of the following in your application:
- The business must be located within the Winchester District
- It must be your full-time occupation and only job, or you should be working towards this
- The business contributes to the local distinctiveness of Winchester
- The business meets one or more of the five core sectors of the Winchester economy (knowledge/creative, service, tourism, retail, and land-based)
- How the grant will be in the interest of council tax payers, including any plans to employ additional staff members
- What environmentally-friendly practices the business carries out or is working towards
- Any planning / building control / licence / business rates or other necessary consent has been obtained. (For example, if your business is food-based, you may need to register with the Council’s environmental health team.)
If you have not already done so, we also recommend you consider becoming a member of Southern Entrepreneurs, which provides free networking and low-cost training.
How do I apply?
Please apply online at https://winchester.flexigrant.com/. Please note that any unsubmitted applications will be deleted after six weeks from commencement.
On the application you must describe your business and its aims, and state what the grant will be spend on and why it is needed.
You must provide the following supporting information:
- Proof of business address (e.g. utility bill, NNDR (business rates) invoice)
- Evidence of intended spend (e.g. professional quote, link to webpage)
- Business plan (help and advice available here: www.gov.uk/write-business-plan)
- Cash flow forecast for the next 3 years
- Accounts from the last three years or however long you have been trading (if applicable)
You will only be able to submit the application once all of the necessary supporting evidence has been uploaded.
What happens next?
Once we receive your complete application, it will be scored against the criteria and assessed by the grants panel. If successful, you will be formally notified of this and sent a funding agreement to sign and return to us. The grant is usually paid retrospectively, which means that the items or services will be paid for by yourself, and then reimbursed once you send us proof of purchase and payment in the form of invoices and receipts. In special circumstances the grants panel may be able to purchase items or services on your behalf. It is extremely important that you do not spend prior to formal notification of grant approval. Once you have signed and returned your funding agreement to us, the Council’s Finance department will contact you to obtain your bank details in order to set you up as a creditor. Once this has been done and we have received your proof of purchase and payment, the grant will be paid via direct bank payment to your business account.
This funding is State Aid.
For help and advice in using the new online application system please contact:
Economy and Arts Support Officers (Carol Hussey and Zoe Sipsma)
Tel: 01962 848 196 or 01962 848 303 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are having trouble using the online application system, please email us and let us know what the problem is. If necessary we will send you a Word document version of the application form to fill out instead.
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