£250k Post-Covid Pot Set Up For Angus FirmsNeil Hardie
A £250,000 fighting fund to help innovate Angus firms thrive in the post-pandemic business landscape is being launched.
Angus Council will take a slice of the £5.6 million help it will receive from the Scottish Government this year to set up the scheme as a springboard for businesses in the immediate pandemic recovery period.
Council chiefs say the range of other assistance will remain available to companies in the district but they hope the new fund will bring forward exciting ideas from one-man bands to firms with up to 250 staff.
Communities committee councillors will be asked to rubber-stamp the idea early next week.
The planned breakdown of the cash pot includes 15 £2,000 grants for micro-firms with five staff or fewer and 15 awards of £5,000 with businesses with five to ten employees.
There could be five £8,000 grants available for 11-50 staff operations and two £15,000 helping hands for firms with up to 250 workers.
In addition three one-off awards of £25,000 may be given to the projects considered the most innovative and with greatest impact.
Interim director of vibrant communities and sustainable growth Alison Smith said: “As part of our economic recovery, we have identified a gap in support for those businesses looking to improve or increase their current product-service offer.
“We are therefore keen to offer grant support to underpin companies looking to develop new products, services, in-house efficiencies or build on other areas of diversification.
“In particular, we are keen to consider funding projects which are not part of current business operations but instead focus on researched and developed proposals which can be delivered this year.”
Officials say working with firms on Covid grants has provided a greater knowledge of the Angus business sector.
The director’s report adds: “The funding will therefore be part of a package of support – a holistic approach – and not be seen as being delivered in isolation from other services which we provide.
“The fund is aimed at companies of up to 250 employees who can demonstrate ambition to innovate or diversify.
“This will be a discretionary fund, with each case being considered on its merits, based on agreed assessment criteria including outcomes, jobs created, benefits to the company and economic impact potential for Angus.”
During 2020 and so far this year, the council has delivered Scottish Government grant support totalling £42.7 million.