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Frequently Asked Questions

What funds are available?

Grants are available from £1,000 to £3,000 for small businesses to seek professional help or purchase small pieces of equipment or technology that will assist them in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

What is an SME?

Small to Medium Sized Enterprises are businesses which: 

  • employ fewer than 250 full-time equivalent persons 
  • have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro and/ or have an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro. 

What can the money be used for?

SME Restart Programme

  • 1-2-1 specialist advice to address immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID 19 e.g. HR, accountants, legal, financial, H&S, IT / digital or sector specialists etc
  • Purchase of minor equipment (costing less than £5000) to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify in response to COVID 19.

Kickstarting Tourism Programme

  • 1-2-1 specialist advice to address immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID 19 e.g. HR, accountants, legal, financial, H&S, IT / digital or sector specialists etc. 
  • Productivity improvements such as enhanced use of digital tools such as yield management software, mentoring, networking or other measures.  It could also support to develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy – for example, new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are so critical to the visitor experience;
  • Purchase of minor equipment (costing less than £5000) to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify in response to COVID 19.

What criteria do I need to fulfil to be potentially eligible?

  • The business must be located within the administrative areas of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
  • The business must have been trading for 12 months or more on 1 February 2020.
  • The business must be able to demonstrate an adverse effect from COVID-19 on their business finances. 

How much grant can I claim?

Minimum grants are £1,000 and maximum are £3,000

Do I have to match the funding?

No. Grants are paid 100% up to the maximum of £3000. However, only purchases made after the date of the grant offer letter may be claimed and any changes to how the grant is spent must be agreed before any purchases are made.

Grants are paid retrospectively once full payment of items can be evidenced through bank statements. Payments cannot be made using Cash. If you intend to use a credit card you need to speak with the Programme Team before making your purchase.

What businesses can apply?

SME Restart Programme

SMEs that have been trading for 12 months or more on 1 February 2020 and that trade 100% business to business (b2b).

Kickstarting Tourism Programme

SMEs that have been trading for 12 months or more on 1 February 2020 in a tourism area and are reliant on visitors from outside the immediate area.

What is b2b and b2c?

B2b is business to business, b2c is business to consumer.

  • Businesses that trade b2b only sell to other businesses.
  • Businesses that trade b2c sell to consumers (general public).

I am a sole trader, can I apply?

Yes.  As long as you are based in Stoke on Trent or Staffordshire and have a unique tax reference you are eligible to apply.

Can the grant cover VAT costs?

The grant covers the net cost of items for businesses that are VAT registered. However, the grant covers the gross cost of items for businesses that are not VAT registered at the time of expenditure and that do not expect to register for VAT within that current financial year. You must inform Staffordshire County Council if your VAT registered status changes within the fiscal year of making a claim.

What documents will I need to provide with my full application?

  • Application form
  • Full set of accounts
  • If accounts are dated before December 2019, we need a P&L for the period not in accounts up to the end of December 2019.
  • A detailed monthly P&L from January 2020 to now.
  • 3 quotes for project costs

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