Aberdeenshire Council has launched a new grant scheme to help existing businesses in the region develop and diversify.
The Business Recovery and Growth Scheme (BRAGS), which is being funded by the Scottish Government’s Local Economic Covid Recovery Fund (LACER), will support businesses which have been trading in Aberdeenshire for at least six months.
Designed to aid recovery from the Covid pandemic, grants will encourage and enable businesses to:
- Maintain income streams and future proof the business
- Capitalise on product and market development opportunities
- Be innovative in outlook and practice
- Promote economic recovery
- Sustain and enhance existing jobs
- Create new employment opportunities
Grants of £2,500, £5,000, £10,000 are available which are based on a 75% grant contribution to the total project costs. Businesses must provide at least 25% of the funding as follows:
- For the £2,500 grant, project costs should be at least £3,333
- For the £5,000 grant, project costs must be at least £6,666
- For the £10,000 grant, project costs must be at least £13,333
The grant scheme is open to all businesses based and operating in Aberdeenshire for at least six months including sole traders, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited companies, registered charities and third sector organisations.
Only one grant will be paid per business, regardless of the number of premises, however normal running costs such as wages, rent and rates will be ineligible.
Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and any grant awarded will be at the discretion of Aberdeenshire Council which can also withdraw the grant at any time if it appears the fund will be overcommitted.
Paul Macari, Head of Planning and Economy at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “It’s important to stress that businesses which have already received Scottish Government Covid-19 grant support can still apply for this latest round of funding so I would encourage them to do so.
“Businesses which have received funding from Aberdeenshire Council’s Discretionary Business Fund can also apply, however any applications must be for a new project or expenditure. Where there is an alternative source of funding available such as nationally-funded schemes, businesses should apply to that first.”
Welcoming the latest round of funding, Cllr John Crawley, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “This grant scheme will be very welcome news for businesses which are looking to develop or diversify as they continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“I hope we see lots of strong applications coming in demonstrating the kind of innovation and diversification which the region is renowned for, whether that’s introducing or developing an online selling function or buying new equipment to support the manufacturing of a new or existing product.”
Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “The Business Recovery and Growth Scheme can also play a major role in supporting research and development costs for a new product or service and could also pave the way for businesses to introduce a new service as part of a diversification programme for the company or help cover research costs for entering a new market.” For more information on the full funding criteria, visit: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business/support-and-advice/business-support/brags/