A grant to support independent retailers and stimulate the local economy in Dumfries and Galloway and assist with the generation of employment thus ensuring long term business sustainability.
A discretionary grant from £500 up to a maximum of £5,000 is available covering up to 50% of project costs.
Financial Assistance for Small Business Scheme is provided by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The scheme is split into four funding strands although there is only one pot of funding. Clients are only given one information sheet - the one most relevant to their business.
The funding strands are as follows:
- Financial Assistance for Small Business Scheme (General).
- Financial Assistance for Small Business Scheme (Retail) (subject of this report).
- Financial Assistance for Small Business Scheme (Growth).
- Financial Assistance for Small Business Scheme (Collaborative Groups).
The purpose of the grant is to support and stimulate the local economy and assist with the generation of employment thus ensuring long term business sustainability.
Working capital expenditure including running costs, staff costs and stock purchase are ineligible.
Support is not provided toward property purchase or repair and maintenance, or for expenditure required in order to comply with legislative requirements. Purchase of motor vehicles is not eligible.
Applicants may not submit quotes to undertake work as part of the project.
Businesses must be located in Dumfries and Galloway (registered office, postal address and/or primary premises).
Businesses must be independent retailers, wholly owned and not be part of a national chain or group. Franchises may be eligible but detailed information regarding the franchise agreement will be required at pre-application stage.
The business must be trading or at start up and be able to demonstrate existing sustainability. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate aspirations to develop their business, to create and sustain full time equivalent employed positions and to provide a product and/or service which enhance their offering.
The project must not have commenced or any commitment or agreement been given and entered into prior to an application being approved and confirmed in writing by Dumfries and Galloway Council. Grant acceptance must be returned to Dumfries and Galloway Council within 14 days of the offer letter.
Claims are paid retrospectively and require invoice, receipt/s and bank statement. Payment may take up to 30 days.
The business should agree to work with a Business Gateway Business Adviser to develop the project and enable monitoring of impacts. The business also agrees to take part in publicity of the scheme and businesses agree to take part in aftercare with Business Gateway.
Applicants may not submit quotes to carry out work on their own behalf.
All businesses applying must demonstrate that they are not in arrears with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
All applicants must be 18 years or over.
Applicants should provide the remainder of project costs from alternative sources.
Grants are available to invest in:
- Marketing and E-business initiatives to increase sales out with the area and/ or attract additional visitors to the area. This can include the design and production of promotional material, investment in E-business projects, where there is a technological advancement or improvement and associated information technology for bespoke solutions. IT hardware purchase will only be eligible as part of a broader E-business development.
- Procurement of manufacturing and other equipment as part of business improvement and expansion planning. (Routine replacement will not be eligible for support.)
- Business premises and facilities improvement including expansion as part of business development plans. Premises used solely as residential will not be eligible for support.
- Selection and procurement of specialist consultancy and training – this will exclude meeting regulatory or legislative requirements.
- Improvements to supply and production processes.
- Exhibitions and Trade Shows. Attendance as an exhibitor/delegate at exhibitions and trade shows will be eligible if it can be shown to be of benefit to the business. Travel, transport, accommodation and sundries etc. will not be eligible. Attendance must be to a new exhibition or trade show, repeat attendance is not eligible.
Applications may be made at any time.
The following information will be required in addition to a completed application form:
- An up to date business plan with appropriate financial information, including a cash flow which forecasts income and expenditure for at least two years.
- For new start businesses, proof of business status in the form of business bank account, HMRC Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number and VAT registration number (if registered).
- For existing businesses, the most recent audited or management accounts must be supplied; if these are over six months old an interim up to date set of accounts must also be supplied. A business bank account must be held and referenced in the application form. Grant payments will be paid into business bank accounts only.
- Full details of the proposed project, with costs.
- Successful FASB applicants from previous funding rounds will only be considered in exceptional circumstances for a further application, grants must total no more than £10,000 combined. Previous applicants must be able to prove that projected outcomes in their previous application were successfully met / completed.
- Businesses will not be permitted to make multiple applications to FASB ie General, Growth, Retail or Collaborative in any funding round.
- Where the business is VAT registered, VAT will not count as an eligible cost. If the business is not VAT registered eligible costs may include VAT. VAT status must be confirmed at the time of application. If the VAT threshold will be reached within six months of the project spend ie as part of the project growth, then VAT will not count as an eligible cost.
- To ensure value for money, applicants will be required to evidence three competitive quotations for project spend or provide sound justification why this was not feasible.
- Applications which are deemed to bring Dumfries and Galloway Council or Business Gateway into disrepute will not be considered.
- No amendments to the project will be accepted after approval.
- Data Protection form must be completed and signed by the applicant.
- State Aid Declaration must be completed and signed by the applicant.
If applicants feel that they have an eligible project and wish to develop a project proposal then a Business Gateway Business Adviser can register their interest, provide a project summary to be completed and if accepted, assist with business and marketing planning to help progress the application.