In May 2020, Hertfordshire LEP launched a £3.28m package of measures to support local businesses affected by COVID-19 and help mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic within the county. This includes:
Hertfordshire Business Expansion Grant Scheme: the scheme is open to all SMEs that are eligible to receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It provides grants ranging from £10k - £100k to support investment in capital equipment, and requires a minimum £1 for £1 match and the creation of at least one new job. The LEP and ERDF funded scheme is managed by the LEP and Hertfordshire County Council, with support from Hertfordshire Growth Hub and Finance South East.
Crowdfund Hertfordshire - Small Business Innovation Fund: this scheme support small and micro businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts and cultural sectors with grants of up to £5,000 on a £1 for £1 match basis. A total of £200k LEP funding has been set aside to support the scheme, which is administered by Visit Herts.
Volunteer Business Support Scheme: local firms that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 can access advice and support from a network of business mentors. The scheme brings together up to 50 volunteer mentors to deliver support to around 200 businesses over a six month period. This LEP funded Hertfordshire Growth Hub service is managed by the University of Hertfordshire.
Additional schemes include:
Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2: a £22m+ tri-LEP investment initiative led by the University of East Anglia and Norfolk County Council, to support SMEs that are making a positive impact on greenhouse gas reduction through the development of innovative technologies, products or services. Managed by cleantech merchant bank Turquoise, the scheme covers the Hertfordshire LEP, New Anglia LEP, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority areas, and is powered by the three LEPs’ European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programmes, with nearly £3m investment provided by Hertfordshire LEP.
Hertfordshire LEP SME Growth Loan Scheme: loans of £200k – £500k are available to established SMEs in Hertfordshire requiring finance to implement expansion activities that will deliver substantial growth. The LEP funded scheme is managed by Finance South East.