However, as a grant does not need to be paid back, it is well worth spending a little bit of time to find out whether there is anything that you can claim.
As you will discover, the business grants that do exist generally come with certain conditions. These will not be interest rates or repayment schedules but are far more likely to be related to what type of business you are starting, where you are going to be located and whether you are going to create any new jobs.
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To help you find a suitable grant, we have compiled this list of organisations who offer grants and websites who can assist with your hunt as well as offer ideas of where else to look.
The Gov.uk website has a section dedicated to finance
and support for your business. It helps you locate government-backed
support and finance for business, including: grants, finance and loans,
business support eg mentoring, consultancy, funding for small and
medium-sized businesses and start-ups. You can customise your search by
location, size and activity.
Your Local Authority has a vested interest in encouraging new businesses to be formed in the area. Not only is it good for the economy generally, you may be creating new jobs, and/or occupying commercial property which will generate more income for them. Local Authority grants tend to be quite modest and often about £250-£500. You can find details of you local councils by using the Govenment search tool at: http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/Start.do?mode=1
Your Local Enterprise Partnership. Local enterprise partnerships are partnerships between local authorities and businesses. They decide what the priorities should be for investment in roads, buildings and facilities in the area. So far 39 local enterprise partnerships have been created. See the full list and map of local enterprise partnerships at: Local Enterprise Partnerships
Your Local Enterprise Agency. The National Enterprise Network is a unique membership body representing business support organisations in the UK. Their local help finder will point you in the direction of an agency near you who may well be able to tell you what grants are available in the area. www.nationalenterprisenetwork.org
The Princes Trust can offer start up business finance if you decide to start up in business through our Enterprise programme. They can provide low interest loans of up to £4,000 for a sole trader and £5000 for a partnership - some people may be eligible for business grants too. Prince's Trust Enterprise programme
GRANTfinder is a grants and policy database and includes details in excess of 8,000 funding opportunities. Services include access to: a flexibly searchable database; Newsflash service; deadlines listing; and Research Help Desk. What's more, and information is continuously updated. http://www.grantfinder.co.uk/
Start Up Donut website contains a comprehensive briefing whichwill give you a good idea of whether your start-up business is likely to be eligible for a grant - and whether such a grant is worth the effort involved in applying. http://www.startupdonut.co.uk/startup/financing-a-business/start-up-funding/grants
Fund Map. Navigate your way to find grants or funding available to businesses in the UK. http://www.fundmap.co.uk/ektn/filter.asp?
UK Business Funding Centre have a Funding Finder engine to explore funding schemes for your UK small business. http://www.ukbusinessgrants.org/
SmallBusiness.co.uk contains articles and advice on how UK small businesses can get a government grant, along with helpful guides on the different types of business grants available to business owners starting and running a business. http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk/financing-a-business/government-grants/