OxLEP Business is set to deliver around £1.2million of funding to companies across the county this autumn and is encouraging organisations to find out if they could benefit from the one of several significant business funds still available.

OxLEP Business is urging the county’s businesses to utilise its free ‘Business Support Tool’ to find out if they could be eligible for one of a series of available grants – including the innovative ‘Go-Create’ funding available through the Innovation Support for Business programme.

Made available via the ERDF-funded programme, ‘Go Create’ grants are designed to support tech and non-tech businesses to implement innovation projects, develop prototypes and prove concepts, to assist with early-stage development work and the exploitation of intellectual property; or to promote the use of innovation to bring new products, processes or services to the market.

The grants are available on a competitive basis from £5,000 to £50,000 per business with applications currently ongoing.

This comes after OxLEP Business – who also operate as the Growth Hub for the county – officially launched its Visitor Economy Grant Scheme last week – a key component of the newly-launched Visitor Economy Renaissance Programme, set up to back the sector’s ongoing re-emergence from Covid-19 through a variety of positive interventions.

Following the success of its launch webinar last week – with dozens of businesses from around the county in attendance – the Visitor Economy Grants Scheme is now also officially open, with the scheme providing grants ranging from £5,000 to £24,999 to eligible businesses.

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme – again run by OxLEP Business – as part of OxLEP Skills’ Social Contract programme has already received over 50 grant applications ranging from £1,000 to £3,000. These grants will support businesses in helping remove potential barriers experienced by eligible apprentices to either start or complete their respective qualification. OxLEP Business is hoping to receive up to 100 more applications to support apprentices over the coming months.

Both the Visitor Economy Grant Scheme and Apprenticeship Grant Scheme have been funded by the government’s ‘Contain Outbreak Management Fund’, set up to support with ongoing costs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite OxLEP engaging with 2,670 businesses across Oxfordshire in the 18 months following the Covid-19 outbreak, OxLEP Business are determined to reach out to an even wider pool of organisations, supporting even more companies to understand that they too could benefit from its financial support packages.

Helen Brind – Growth Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “Following on from the success of our Visitor Economy Grant Scheme launch last week, we want to ensure Oxfordshire businesses are aware of the variety of funding and wider business support opportunities available through OxLEP Business.

 “Our funds can really help to make a significant and positive impact. We have already supported thousands of companies across Oxfordshire, but it’s important that all of our business community are aware of the wide range of support that we offer at what likely remains a very critical time for many.”

 “By utilising our free Business Support Tool – which takes just 7 minutes to complete and provides business with a bespoke Business Support Action Plan – we can ensure businesses receive appropriate support and don’t miss out on opportunities they may already be eligible for – including grant funding.”

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