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Following last week’s launch of its revamped Business Investment Fund, OxLEP Business has today (14 November) announced it has closed the scheme to any future applications, having reached a funding threshold.

Over 100 business representatives from across Oxfordshire had previously attended the scheme’s 9 November relaunch, which has subsequently led to OxLEP Business now encouraging organisations – searching for grant funding – to investigate other opportunities.

The fund – which was originally launched following the outbreak of Covid-19, to support businesses to recover from the effects of the pandemic – was brought back by OxLEP Business to further support Oxfordshire companies at a critical, economic time.

Those eligible businesses – who will eventually benefit from the funding – are expected to use it to accelerate investment plans, rebuild operations and develop market opportunities, as well as supporting a transition to net-zero.

Following its heavy uptake, OxLEP Business says that organisations searching for grants should continue to look at other funding opportunities, available both locally and nationally – this includes its own ‘Go-Create’ grant scheme.

Made available via the ERDF-funded Innovation Support for Business programme, ‘Go Create’ revenue-only grants are designed to support businesses to implement innovation projects.

Revenue-only grants are available on a competitive basis from £5,000 to £50,000 per business with applications requiring matched-funding from the applying business.

Last week’s launch is the second iteration of the Business Investment Fund. In February this year, OxLEP Business announced that a total of £2million-worth of grants were issued in-full to 38 businesses through the scheme’s first round of funding.

The Business Investment Fund has been supported via the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

Helen Brind – Growth Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “We are delighted to have attracted so much interest in the Business Investment Fund, which further proves our ability to support Oxfordshire businesses at such a critical time – however, with this interest comes the scenario that we are now unable to support future applications to the fund.

“With this in mind, we would now encourage interested businesses to look into other grant options which includes our own ‘Go-Create’ revenue-only grant scheme.

“This funding stream has already supported businesses across multiple sectors in the county, supporting them to introduce new innovations to those respective companies.

“Where this perhaps isn’t an option, our business support tool remains the best way for companies to understand the broader support and funding options potentially available. It takes a few minutes to complete and leads to a bespoke action plan for businesses to take forward.

“We are obviously disappointed not to be able to allocate funding to all interested businesses, but we reiterate that there remains a variety of different opportunities available to companies looking to grow or indeed change direction.”

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