Hertfordshire LEP has launched a new £2.67m grant scheme, as part of a £3.28m package of business support measures to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The Hertfordshire Business Expansion Grant Scheme (BEGS) is designed to support SMEs identified as having great propensity to grow, but that have been unable to obtain all, or part, of the financial support they need through traditional methods.

Grants provided under this scheme can be used towards the purchase of machinery and equipment to aid the expansion of a business. This includes the costs of buying plant and machinery, IT equipment, and in certain cases, the acquisition or construction of additional floor-space. Grants will range from £10k to £100k, subject to an aid ceiling of 50% of capital expenditure on fixed assets, and will be linked to the creation of at least one full time job.

This scheme is funded jointly by Hertfordshire LEP and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and supported by Hertfordshire Growth Hub, FSE CIC, and Hertfordshire County Council.

Eligibility criteria

This scheme is open to companies registered in England at Companies House (with no more than 250 employees, and a turnover of less that €50m or a balance sheet total of less than €43m), but excluding start-ups, sole traders and unincorporated partnerships. Further sectors and exclusions may apply. For full details, please contact Hertfordshire Growth Hub.

Application process

The application process is managed jointly by Hertfordshire Growth Hub and FSE CIC, an independent financial company, on behalf of the LEP:

  • Interested businesses should contact Hertfordshire Growth Hub for an initial discussion with a Growth Account Manager, and to complete an Expression of Interest form. A due diligence audit will then be carried out by FSE.
  • Your application will be considered by an independent grants panel which meets monthly. Provided sufficient funds are available, and the applicant is eligible and has a sound investment proposition, a grant is likely to be awarded within a few weeks.
  • Once the grant is awarded, the applicant will be assigned a case worker from Hertfordshire LEP who will provide support throughout the claims process.

We encourage all interested parties to contact Hertfordshire Growth Hub, as their advisers will signpost other options if this scheme is not suitable: please visit www.hertsgrowthhub.com, or call: 01707 398168.

Hertfordshire LEP COVID-19 Business Support Package

The Hertfordshire Business Expansion Grant Scheme is part of a £3.28m package of measures being put in place by Hertfordshire LEP to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This includes: 

Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund: this 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.