Hertfordshire LEP has 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. It provides grants for capital expenditure ranging from £10k - £100k and will require a minimum £1 for £1 match and the creation of at least one new job. Hertfordshire Growth Hub will manage enquiries and make referrals to the LEP and its programme partner Finance South East for grant consideration.
Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund: this scheme will support small and micro businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts and cultural sectors. Hertfordshire LEP has set aside £200k to support the scheme, which will be administered by Visit Herts and offer grant funding up to a maximum of £5,000 on a £1 for £1 match basis.
Volunteer Business Support Scheme: this Hertfordshire Growth Hub branded service will be established and managed by the University of Hertfordshire and will provide additional advice and support from business mentors to firms adversely affected by COVID-19. Up to 50 volunteers would each offer their expertise to up to four businesses, providing support to around 200 businesses in total over a six month period. Express your interest in becoming a volunteer.
Speaking about the launch, Adrian Hawkins, Deputy Chair at Hertfordshire LEP, said: "Our businesses are essential not only for the goods and services they supply, but also the employment they provide and the taxes that they pay to support our economy and country. It is vital therefore that we do everything in our power to help Hertfordshire businesses survive this storm. Our £3.28m package of measures will support businesses with immediate cash flow and business advice to enable them to diversify and adapt to the new environment post-lockdown and bounce back in the long term.”