Business owners across Leicester and Leicestershire, looking to expand and grow their enterprises, now have access to an enhanced service through the Business Gateway Growth Hub, including the addition of a £1.4 million pot of grant funding.
The Business Gateway Growth Hub service is backed by a newly designed website providing a straight-forward and comprehensive menu of the support and finance opportunities on offer to business owners across the city and county.
The site aims to simplify access to business support with a strong call to action to contact the team via email, telephone, social media or submitting a specific query form. There are front line business advisers who deal with all incoming enquiries and signpost to the most relevant or appropriate help, saving time and keeping busy entrepreneurs and those thinking about starting a business well informed of the options available to them.
The Business Gateway has provided intensive support to over 1,000 Leicester and Leicestershire enterprises since 2014 and will continue to provide a variety of core services including tailored, one-to-one advice, a programme of presentations and workshops, finance opportunities and support programmes.
Following successful bidding to the European Regional Development Fund a further £3.9 million has been secured to deliver an enhanced service for local companies. This will be run in partnership with Leicester City Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), Leicestershire County Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP).
This broader service means there will be a larger team of advisers offering free, impartial and commercial-focused business advice and information. A new Business Growth Grant is available to established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) trading business-to-business and looking to create jobs or develop new products/services. With support from a Growth Hub adviser, SMEs can apply for the capital grant, which ranges from £2,000 to £25,000, making up 35% of the total project cost.
The Growth Hub will continue to offer a free programme of events to help businesses develop skills and knowledge on all aspects of running a successful business including strategy, sales, finance, marketing and HR procedures while also signposting to relevant business support events from other providers across the county.