£2m fund to support Sussex businesses dealing with Covid-19 consequences

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A group set up to support businesses in much of Sussex has said applications are now open for grants from a £2m fund.

It’s operated by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, which describes itself as a ‘partnership between local authorities and businesses’.

The new fund is called the “Backing Business Grants”, and is aimed at independent small business and social enterprises (but not charities) that have been affected by Covid-19.

Businesses must be inside West Sussex or the city of Brighton and Hove to be eligible.

Organisers said they believe up to 400 companies and enterprises could be helped, and are holding open applications until the money has been fully allocated.

Individual grants will range from £5,000 to £25,000, the partnership said.

Businesses hoping to use the fund should meet certain criteria:

  • Be established within West Sussex or Brighton and Hove;
  • Have a full-time equivalent workforce of between 5 and 50 people;
  • Been trading for over two years;
  • Have an annual turnover of under £10m.

The partnership said grants must be for one of the following measures, necessary to cope with new ways of working as a result of precautions against the pandemic:

  • Adapt operations to remote working;
  • Evolve their business model to boost and retain cash-flow (e.g. add new delivery or marketing methods);
  • Innovate their business model to meet the new demands of consumers.

Particularly welcome are applications from businesses worst affected by the pandemic, including hospitality, leisure, service businesses, tourism, and aviation together with the aviation supply chain.

The grant funding can be used to procure any professional assistance in order to introduce measures to adapt, evolve and innovate in, but must not be used for salaries or staffing costs.

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